TAMPA HEIGHTS — In the increasingly restaurant-rich Tampa Heights neighborhood, Lector Social Club and Wine Bar will debut this fall.
Located in a formerly vacant building at 2307 N Florida Ave., Lector will be a gathering place and venue for intimate live music and literary readings. Lector will unofficially open its doors Oct. 1 with a fundraising event for a pair of organizations that aid military combat veterans.
Lector aims to offer a place for community fun and intellectual fellowship. It's inspired by Tampa's history and culture of Spanish-speaking lectores de tabaquería, well-dressed men who from the turn of the century until the 1930s read aloud everything from daily newspapers to literary classics to the city's many cigar workers as they rolled.
Lector is the creation of Tampa Heights residents Micheal Hooker and her wife Camille Renshaw.
"We wanted a welcoming local spot where folks can walk to and enjoy a glass of wine with friends in what feels like someone's living room while listening to the area's best musicians, poets and other writers," Hooker said.
Hooker and her wife's vocations and avocations bring complementary talents to Lector. Hooker, who has fronted a number of Tampa Bay bands in years past, is a self-described geek for biodynamic and natural wines, which Lector will serve. A commercial real estate broker and owner of several other historic buildings in Tampa (including Tampa Heights), Renshaw is also a writer who founded online literary magazine Pif.
Lector's decor will emphasize the area's Cuban history, including locally made tiles. Much of the 2,500-square-foot building's current features — including exposed brick walls, decorative tin ceilings and time-worn marble baseboards — will be preserved.
Hooker said future plans include adding roof-top solar panels, bee hives and the creation of a backyard outdoor patio, where movies can be projected on an adjacent wall.
Lector will likely be open five evenings a week.
Contact Laura Reiley at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.