Tampa Businesses Scale Back Operation Hours After Deadly Shooting

TAMPA, Fla. — On a typical weekend, North Franklin Street’s nightlife is busy with several bars, restaurants and clubs. 

Bello Kitchen and Bar owner NZ Polycarpe says the neighborhood is continuing to grow.

“This area has been a lot more populated, just like in SOHO and Ybor City,” he said. “Things do happen when a group of people come together,” he added.  

Three weeks ago, one person was killed and several others injured during a fight on Franklin Street. 

“It could’ve happened anywhere,” said Polycarpe.”

#Today After a fatal shooting on N. Franklin St. three weeks ago some businesses are scaling back their hours. The owner of Bello attended the last TPD community forum to ask for increased patrols. So far he says he’s seeing increased PD presence. @BN9 pic.twitter.com/cePBwEg1IV

— Fadia Mayté Patterson M.S. (@FadiaTVNews) March 19, 2022

At least three businesses are scaling back their hours, including Bello, which will close at 10 p.m. instead of midnight and will only be open for brunch on Sundays.

“I feel like there wasn’t enough police presence downtown especially with it being so lively,” said Polycarpe. 

He made his concerns known during the last community forum on gun violence hosted by Tampa Police.

Polycarpe asked for increased patrols and says he’s seen more police presence since the shooting in February.

Tampa’s new Police Chief Mary O’Connor said Thursday she wants to work with the community more and focus on curbing violent crime.

“They also walk the beat, they are more responsive, even stopping by to let us know they are in the area,” said Polycarpe.

Bello opened for business a year and a half. 

“Prior to this we’ve never had any type of incident like this. We’re just a restaurant,” said Polycarpe. 

He said scaling back on business is the price he’ll pay to ensure safety for his patrons. 

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