We brought our very pregnant daughter to Ybor City while visiting us in Florida. She wanted Greek food and we decided to try Acropolis. We were driving west on 7th, turned south (left) on 19th and then turned right into the lot behind the restaurant. Only three or four cars were parked back there in a lot that probably holds 50-60 cars. It was an un-busy Tuesday. We went in and enjoyed our lunch, walked down to a store in the same building, and then went to get in our van. All in all, maybe an hour and a half or so, max. When we went back to the car it was gone. At first we thought it had been stolen. I was ready to call the police when a young man walked by that works in the building and told us our car was probably towed. He said that a guy that owns the lot cruises the lot (in his Cadillac) to look for cars and has them towed. He said it happens every day and that is is basically a money-making scam. We were shocked! Where does it say to pay to park? What was going on? The young man showed us a small sign under some trees. The sign faces west, so there is no way you would see it when pulling in. He then told us the machine to pay is always broken anyway, and when I looked at it, it was indeed "out of order." There is no way a reasonable person would think that you would have to pay to park where we did.
Note: if you enter a block over from Angel Oliva St. there are signs facing the street that say "pay to park" -- not the case when you enter from 19th.
I called the towing service and was told it would be $155 to get the car back, in cash, and I had to be there by 6:00 pm. They were located by the airport on the other side of town. We went into the restaurant and told them what happened. One of the employees said the owner had gotten his car towed and they had just put a sign on the door warning people (not sure if the sign was there when we went in, but it wouldn't have mattered because the nice girl at the door opened it for us, so we would not have seen it anyway). The employee said we could get a cab 3 or 4 blocks down. In retrospect, he probably should have offered to call a cab for us. Especially with our overheated 8 month pregnant daughter standing there! Oh well, he was very nice and sympathetic.
We found a cab four blocks down, got cash, paid the driver $40, dealt with the extremely rude towing company and we were on our way. Lunch with tip $61 + parking $155 + cab ride $40 = $256 lunch. Sigh.
The lot is owned or operated by 717 parking and the person that called to report our car was with "The Italian Club." The towing company was "Ascension." So, please beware that, in our opinion, these enterprises should be avoided like the plague.
It is going to be very hard to go back to Ybor City after this. It has left a bad taste in our mouths. We are supposed to stay pre-cruise for a 3 day weekend in December, but will probably do something else.
As far as Ybor City goes . . . it is mostly nightlife (clubs and restaurants) with a little shopping during the day. The history is interesting. I highly recommend the Columbia Restaurant. So, so good.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.