Despite its history and longstanding Ybor City fame, La Tropicana Cafe has joined the long list of small businesses lost to the pandemic.
The cafe, located at 1822 E. 7th Ave., has closed for good after taking a financial hit from a decrease in business. La Tropicana’s current operator Gio Peña told The Tampa Bay Times a majority of the spot’s regulars are older and fearful of coronavirus.
Peña also said he is in talks with others potentially interested in reopening the spot, but cannot guarantee anything. Peña’s other restaurant Gio’s Cuban Cafe, located across the street from La Tropicana, is still open.
First acting as a hub for immigrants when it opened in 1963, the restaurant has since been a stop for politicians passing through, a second office for La Gaceta Newspaper owners and a checkpoint on many locals’ search for a perfect Cuban sandwich.
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