From sweaty to swanky: How the formerly ovenlike Orpheum is making Seventh Avenue seem cool
The Orpheum was born more than 10 years ago on Avenida Republica de Cuba. It was a small bar and concert venue with busted sofas, cheap drinks and sticky floors. It was known for two things.
1. Trashy bathrooms.
2. Broken air conditioning.
Sometimes, the staff forgot to turn off the single air conditioning unit and returned to find the system burned out. Other times, the air worked fine — if everyone was standing still.
“The old place got hot,” said owner Dave Hundley. “There was no doubt. The capacity there was 300. At any venue, the air conditioning is only set up to take care of a normal crowd that’s sitting down and doing nothing. If you get them up and moving, you generate heat."
Steamy, sweltering clubs are common in Ybor City, as anyone who's been to certain concerts at the Ritz Ybor can tell you. So when the Orpheum moved onto Seventh Avenue, they decided to crank the A/C up to 11.
For more on the chilling-out of the Orpheum, click here for Stephanie Hayes' story.
Photo: Luis Santana, tbt*