Microbrewery approved to sell alcohol in West Tampa

12/17/09 Joshua Lee Holton
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Today Tampa City Council approved alcohol sales for a microbrewery in West Tampa. Cigar City Brewing is owned by the son of Perennial City Council Candidate and Adult Club owner Joe Redner. About a dozen residents of the Carver City and Lincoln Gardens neighborhoods protested the approval of alcohol sales in their neighborhood.

In a 4-2 vote, Tampa City Council allowed a Tampa microbrewery to continue to sell alcohol at the site on Spruce Street. Joe Redner is the owner of the Cigar City Brewing property, a site where robberies and other criminal activity have been reported after hours. Redner maintained that the crimes took place after his business had closed, and that his hours of operation would not negatively influence community activity.

Councilmembers Thomas Scott and Gwen Miller opposed the ordinance. But the rest of the council, including Councilmember Joseph Caetano said that given their other approvals for alcohol sales in Tampa, they had to treat Redner’s business fairly.

Carolyn Collins is the president of the Hillborough County NAACP, and is also a member of the Carter City/Lincoln Gardens Home Owners Association. She objected to the ordinance, claiming that giving Redner’s Spruce St. venue a liquor license could adversely affect a residential neighborhood, since schools and churches are so close to the business.

Cigar City Brewing is one of Tampa’s only microbreweries. Joey Redner owns and operates the brewpub, while his father, Joe Redner, owns the property. Today was the final step in approving alcohol sales for the brewpub site.

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