JC Newman to Open Ybor City Hotel, Restaurant and Cigar Lounge in Historic Sanchez y Haya Building | Openings & Closures | Tampa

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Last year, JC Newman Cigar Co. undertook an extensive rehabilitation process for the historic “El Reloj” cigar factory, now dubbed “Tampa’s Last Cigar Factory”. But the expansion doesn’t stop there, as the company recently announced plans to open a new hotel, restaurant and cigar lounge across from its factory-turned museum in the restored Sanchez y Haya hotel in 1601 E Columbus Dr. in the North. Ybor district.

Tampa Bay residents, tourists and history buffs will soon be able to visit the three-story El Reloj Museum, then stroll down E Columbus Drive to JC Newman’s all-new all-inclusive concept, slated to open from here. the end of 2023.

The cigar company will follow the original layout of the century-old building, opening the cigar lounge and restaurant on the ground floor, with hotel rooms occupying the upper levels. JC Newman bought the decrepit building last summer for $ 650,000, according to the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser website.

The Sanchez y Haya hotel has a long, colorful history and was first built in the early 1900s during the era of cigar production in Ybor. It was once the seat of contraband during the Prohibition era and gained a somewhat perilous reputation as a Chip-In Bar throughout the 1990s. By 2021, the historic building accommodates no laborers. factory or smugglers, but a whole colony of bats.

Before any construction can begin, up to 10,000 bats must be moved from Sanchez y Haya to bat houses across the street in grassy land also owned by JC Newman. The nonprofit Fly By Night, aka “The Bat Specialists”, will be tasked with the arduous task of moving the bats, a process set to begin soon. Laura Finn of Fly by Night told Paul Guzzo that the move must begin before the next maternity season – which runs from April through August – or that it can be fatal to many bats, especially in their puppies. No one will know how many bats occupy the old building until they are mined next year.

According to Drew Newman, general counsel and great-grandson of the founder, the grassy land in front of the hotel will eventually be transformed into a park in which museum visitors and hotel guests can watch bats fly. to and from their new home.

The complete restoration of the Sanchez y Haya Hotel, built by Serafin Sanchez and Ignacio Haya, two of Ybor’s most successful cigar men, will take a few years and a few million, but no one knows how long the bald move will take. -mouse.

As if another massive rehabilitation project and bat relocation weren’t too much for the JC Newman Cigar Co., it also plans to start offering cigar-rolling lessons from its new museum soon.

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About Brad S. Fulton

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