This is the tale of how Gaspar’s Grotto came to be …
Built at the turn of the century, the normally raucous and rowdy Gaspar’s Grotto has evolved through many (mostly legal) uses, first as a furniture store, later an art gallery, at one point a carpet warehouse, hardware store, pawn shop and now a world class bar.
The extensive outdoor patio which includes a stage, outdoor bar, and numerous fountains, has its own blood-written history. Untold numbers were killed here – not so surprising since it was a poultry slaughterhouse which provided fresh poultry to the workers in the area’s world famous cigar factories.
Eric Schiller, a retired sea captain who commanded supertankers on global sea routes for more than two decades, and Shere Schiller, his business partner, wife and head bar wench, are the business owners and visionaries.
Eric visited some of the world’s best bars during his career and draws the same formula for success that he witnessed in those establishments. Shere, a former educator, interior designer, sales representative and entrepreneur, brings her infectious smile and warm personality to the place that is a one-of-a-kind dining, drinking and event establishment that makes everyone feel welcome.
Together they found the perfect location to bring their dream to life along Ybor City’s bustling 7th Avenue. Like all good bars and nightclubs, Gaspar’s Grotto has a history and if it’s wall could talk it would have plenty of scandal, gossip, history and half-truths to share.