Ciao, Pop Lounge; hello, Club Tantra
For the fifth time in three years, One of Ybor City's largest nightclubs is about to reinvent itself.
The three-story, 12,000-square-foot club at 1609 E Seventh Ave. -- formerly the Amphitheater, Ybor Amphitheater, Club 360, Pop Lounge and Theater -- has changed hands yet again and will reopen later this month as Club Tantra.
Back when it was the Amphitheater, owner John Santoro (now of Sunset Promotions) brought in world-class DJs to spin for the rotating dance floor on weekends: Tiesto, the Crystal Method, Paul Oakenfold, even Tommy Lee. Frankie Rodriguez bought the place in 2007, which led to a slew of identity changes.
Last year, Rodriguez renamed the club Pop Lounge and Theater, hoping to have more of an emphasis on live music. The club hosted a handful of concerts there, including, most recently, Stevie B. and Gabriel Antonio in January.
New owners Mike Kavallierakis, the old Amp's technical director, and Steve and Ignatios Boukalis are planning to bring back live DJs, cage dancers and some other tricks from the club's heyday. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre going to bring back the Amphitheater magic,‚Äô‚Äô Kavallierakis said.
Click here to check out Susan Thurston's story on the past and future of the new Club Tantra.
[Photo by Luis Santana, tbt*, 2007]