Saturday, March 24, 2007

RIP Ybor Pizza!?

An email from Chuck Gutz:

In other pizza news... After a lingering illness brought on by neglect and
poor management Ybor Pizza & Subs was finally allowed to die on Friday,
March 23. Despite valiant efforts to save her, she was killed by greed.
After being recently sold to a new owner (who locked her in the basement and
fed her crumbs) The staff and management were notified of the change with
less than 12 hours notice. Thanks to Terry and Augustine for their class and
tact in conducting business. To some Pizza & Subs' passing will be no big
loss. To those of us who loved this place and worked dilligently in the face
of many obstacles, this is a huge blow. I first walked into Pizza & Subs in 1990
(originally on 8th Avenue in what is now Centro Ybor-ed) for a slice and
after a conversation with the owner was offered a job.
I worked there on and off for 11 years until I moved away from the bay area.
When I moved back home YP&S was my first stop. I was thrilled to see
familiar faces, but I was horrified to see the state the place was in after
years of apathy on the part of kitchen manager Scott 'Jungle Yard' Barrick.
I came back and tried to remedy the situation, but the inertia of neglect
was like swimming in honey. Over the following months we cut the dead wood,
improved the quality of service and product, and built a tight crew that
functioned as a team. What would 6 more months have shown? We will never
know. I know this will garner negative posts and flames, but remember that
to some of us this was a family; a family destroyed by the greed and apathy
of a few. Our love extends to all of our family members but especially-
Kerry Thomson, Rex, Kurt, Kirk, Mary, Marta, Belinda, Ed, Fletcher, Otto,
Kevin Lousy, Stoney Tony, Charlie Doan, Potts, Hubcap, Stephany, Birgitte,
Big Sam, Uaratiex, Crackhead Steve, Brenda and her demon Brood, Chaka,
Archie, Joli, Mudshark, Lewis Clark, Floyd, Martha the fathead, Mike
No-Land, Shoy-boy, J.D., Miss Beverly, David the jew, Ashley, Swinger Steve,
Vanessa and Taj, Gail, Mark, Danny, Possum, Marmaset, Dallas, Morgan with
the Wrench, Tiphany (all of em), Kalani, Rolling John, Count(0), Spanky,
Smack Rick, Ernie, Big Tittie Katie, Andre, Billy Budget, Kelly Kombat, Rick
and Amy, Girl Chris, Brittish Chris, Big Chris (R.I.P.), Chris & Eddie
(R.I.P. brothers), Marley (R.I.P.), Big Gay Pat, T Rick Dangerous, Shane,
Irish Al (kill a brit!), Irish John, Hobert (R.I.P.?), Paulie, Rough Riders
(the bar not the rich boy club), Madame Amnesia, Anjelica and John, Blue
Devil Tattoo,the Colson clan, Bad Penny (stay up), Jules, Junky Jim, Shut up
Jackie, Dave, Jeff, Donny, Otter, Paul the Plumber, Paula, Magadog, G.G.
Allin, Green Day, Fugazi (you still aint gettin pizza), Tibetan Dread,
Claude Kennedy, Sabastian Bach, Sonic Youth, Fishbone, Nazi Hunter Jew Boys,
Josting Elders, FFF, The Independents..................

.............. And
every other wierd, pierced, tattooed, tracked, combat booted, chemically
challenged, disenfranchised, gothic, mohawked, squatter, punk rock, biker,
gangster, BEAUTIFUL LOSER who ever walked through our front door and felt a


ShreksWife said...

Sorry to see you go. I was just going on today about how my husband and I love your pizza and wings. Shrek is out of town, but I know as soon as he finds out, he'll be sorry to. We wish you the best, and if you decide to open up another pizza joint, let us know! We'll be sure to try it out!

Your pizza was the absolute closest thing to NY pizza I've had since, um, oh yeah ... last time I was in NYC!!! Gosh I'll miss it!!!

chuckgutz said...

Shrekswife- Thanks so much! A good word goes a long way right now. Keep your ear to the ground- we'll be back!-chuckgutz

Anonymous said...

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES COME ON...IT'S A CELEBRATION!!!!!!!!!!! Good ridance Ybor. See ya...maybe the new owner will actually respect the neighborhood that supports them and keep their business somewhat clean and "almost" up to code. They have been PIGS for many years and have brought down my streen for way too long. THANKS FOR GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!

Mal Carne said...

Sad day. I knew it was coming, but I hate seeing another piece of my misspent youth go the way of the dodo.

Mike Merino said...

Not knowing, as I only went there once some time ago, what caused Ybor Pizza to close its doors, leaves me sad that another Seminole Heights retail business is now closed.
Merinos Deli has been open for two months now. Myself and all the staff at the deli love the Seminole Heights folks and the neighboorhood.
I can personaly attest to the support that Seminole Heights people give to local business, "it is incredible"!

Perhaps, with Cappys recent victory, the messege has been sent out clearly that Seminole Heights is a vibrant neighboorhood and will support new business providing they give the people what they want with great service and a good product.

I realize that I dont have pizza but, I want to personally invite any of the Ybor Pizza supportors to give "MERINOS DELI" a try and maybe you will find a new place to visit and have a good meal.

Come in and tell me you were a Yobor Pizza customer and I will take 20% off your bill.
I dont want to feel as if I am an ambulance chaser but, only to say that Merinos Deli at 6428 Florida is here to stay.

My Best Regards;
Mike Merino

Mia said...

Chuck, I drove by the other day and saw that the place was empty... I fervently hoped that I wouldn't find a message like this on the blog.

I can't believe it! Where will I go for pizza now?! Ybor Pizza & Subs was a reminder of old, unique Ybor, the Ybor that I remember of my youth when I wandered 7th while Creole was opening.

You guys made the best pizza, had the biggest hearts, the Attack From Mars pinball machine (until recently) and even delivered to me when I was deep in the Springs and outside of your area (thanks Steve).

If you re-open anywhere, you've got my business.

Anyone that feels like Anonymous here (a brave person, clearly) was missing out. Their loss.

TC said...

I hadn't been there since Cappy's opened. I drove past YP on Thursday afternoon and wondered if it was still operating. Their pizza was good but the building was a dump and I could do without the guys behind the counter who were always trying to be comedians. I don't mind a how are you or a single joke but it was more like night at the improv.


Anonymous said...

EWWWW, I am sure the closing had nothing to do with teh long beard guy that always had his crack hanging out. I think I would do TOTINO's before yb.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

oh jesus no

Anonymous said...

... or "yes".

It could turn into another church. We need more them.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That is sad news!!

I knew something was up. I called Saturday for a pizza and was told 'we are closed for the weekend to do inventory. we will be open for business monday'

I didn't recognize the voice. Not sure what to expect.. so sad.

That little broad. said...

Why?! No more good as hell or garlic wings!?!
Cleary there is no god.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is. Their patron god was the god of rodents & roaches. The place looked like a 16-yo boy's bedroom complete with month-old dried food under the bed.

The secret sauce in the garlic wings was squeezed out of gym socks.

Anonymous said...

the state of the place never really bothered me.. the vibe was good. no uptight pricks frothing about some disorder..

Dan said...

Damn, my mother was down visiting from Philadelphia and we had our first try of Ybor City Pizza this past Wednesday and we commented how much the pizza was like the pizza joints we had at home. You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

It's official, it's now a sandwich shop.

Anonymous said...

"no uptight pricks frothing about some disorder.. "

Amen to that Anonymous 3/26/2007 4:45 PM

Anonymous said...

Fine and swell for the sandwich shop, but let's hope they clean and remodel, not open up over night the the typical ghetto restaurants that open and close over nite!

Anonymous said...

Fine and swell for the sandwich shop, but let's hope they clean and remodel, not open up over night the the typical ghetto restaurants that open and close over nite!

kombatrock said...

Props to Merino's for the pastrami I ate there today. It hit the spot! Support this place folks.

...and don't forget to vote in the city council runoff today.

Anonymous said...

Yup, I support Merino's as well as Joe Redner. I also ate there and voted for him today.

mia said...

looking forward to trying Merino's. the guy at Sunstate Wrecker sang their praises, so I took a menu.

They have a "Mia"-named sandwich, so it's got to be good :)

Anonymous said...

There was no cleanup or remodel, it is now copa cabana cafe. lovely.

Anonymous said...

I miss Ansleys, Fridas and Ybor Subs. I tried Abuelas when it first opened but nobody there when I went could speak english and I speak no spanish.

Anonymous said...


You are a fuckin idiot.

Anonymous said...

I tried the copa cabana once when it was over on florida & osborn. got the cuban sandwich. it was okay. nothing to write home about, but just ok I guess. the 2 ladies working there that day only spoke spanish, so we did a lot of sign language. I will give them another try over here, but am getting kind of bored of latin food. we have to many now I think.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend Brocato's at 5021 E. Columbus Dr. (right off of 50th St near I-4) if you want the best cuban sandwich. The large size could be used as a weapon it is so heavy and full of goodies. Their deviled crabs are awesome, make them right there. Self serve for the most part and always a crowd but that's because the sandwiches and meals are that good. Recently one Sat morning, I called in my Cuban for pick up and it was not ready when I got there (although plenty of time to make it). I was offered a free deviled crab and choice of drink to eat while I waited the extra 10 min which I definitely took them up on. Now that is service! I love that place and they open at 8:00 A.M.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the closing of Ybor Pizza & Subs. But I have some good news that might fill the void. Stephanno's Pizzaria and Italian Eatery will reopen at the end of April. Please watch for our grand opening.

We are looking for three to four people that our dependable and take pride in their appearance and their work. Come have fun working with our team at Stephanno's. Please call 813-232-9486 or John Butler at 813-846-6417.

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with you about Brocatto's.
There sandwiches are gargantuan!
That place is always wall to wall ppl.
They must be making a fortune.

Anonymous said...

What is it with large portions anyway? Supersize Me?!

Here's an idea: serve a healthy portion at half the price rather than a gargantuan portion at twice the price. I'd rather have "just enough" and not throw the rest out, or worse, eat the whole thing and get chubby(er).

Anonymous said...

Unless you're like me and hubby, large sandwiches allow us to buy one and share :o)

BUT, It would be nice if they offered smaller portions at lower prices.

Anonymous said...

Dang, ybor pizza and subs replaced by yet another cuban restaurant. The new place does not how to cook wings or pizza, although they'll say they do. I like cuban food, but how about some variety? Seminole Heights dining choices takes another beating with this news. A sad day indeed.

Anonymous said...

Copacabana SUCKS. What a lame name, to begin with. I stumbled across this blog Friday when I googled Ybor Pizza so I could get their number and order a pie to pick up on the way home. "No!" I thought - "Say it ain't so!" So I call and the gill answers, "Copacabana." "I thought I was calling Ybor Pizza," I said.
"You are - we just changed the name because there are new owners."
"Okay - can I order a pizza?"
So I do, and I stop in - they have remodelled a little. But the girl is on the phone trying to get tech support for Windows Vista on her laptop - she barely has time for me. She gives me my pie and a handful of coins - I gave her fifteen dollars for a 10.16 sale. "Sorry, I don't have any pennies."
"That's fine, but I gave you fifteen dollars."
So she hands me three singles.
"Okay," I say, "Eleven (holding out my fistful of change) twelve, thirteen, fourteen . . . (laying out the three singles)"
She rolls her eyes at me and pulls another single out - without a word. But I stuck it in their tip jar on general principles . . .
So I get home, and you guys, this is the worst, worst pizza I have ever spit out of my mouth. Just disgusting - fake cheese, doughy, undercooked crust, all of seven slices of mushrooms on a "mushroom" pizza - for real. Just too gross for words. So now I'm heartbroken - I used to feel so hhip, sneering at all the yuppies as they pay way too much for their Cappy's and Stephannos, knowing where I can get a real good pie for eight bucks. Sigh.