Tampa Bay: Mark and Carrie make it official!

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Quench crowds all weekend
It was literally standing room only during the opening weekend celebrations at Quench Lounge in Largo. The much anticipated opening on Jan. 30 began with a VIP reception, complete with a performance by Kori Stevens. Several notables attended the grand opening, including Pinellas County Commissioner John Marroni and Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith. The new club, located in the corner unit at 66th Avenue North and Ulmerton Road, features an extensive bar, four flat-screen televisions, a dance floor and several leather couches. Each VIP received a gift bag of goodies at the end of the night and several raffle prizes were handed out by bar manager Steve Rodriguez. The opening went well over all, with a few minor missteps – an ice shortage, for example – but manager Steven Rodriquez was thrilled with the weekend and the performance of his staff. “Every new bar has challenges and our guys stepped up and handled everything beautifully.” Quench Lounge is open seven days a week.

A fitting anniversary
Mark Bias and Carrie West are, of course, the unofficial mayors of Ybor City (okay, maybe somewhat official). The long-term couple decided to celebrate their 35th anniversary in style by signing up for the City of Tampa’s Domestic Partner Registry. The couple invited friends and family to accompany them to the City Clerk’s office, where they filled out the paperwork under the watchful eye of none other than Mayor Bob Buckhorn himself. The tuxedo-clad couple started their day with a meal at The Laughing Cat and then hopped the TECO Streetcar to Old Tampa City Hall. Other than Buckhorn, other witnesses of the special union were Yvonne Yacoub and Judy B. Goode. Interestingly, when West signed his name to the registry, he used the exact same pen that Mayor Buckhorn used the previous year when he signed the domestic partner registry ordinance into law. Congratulations guys!

Mr. Code returns
Tampa Bay’s Leather Community is gearing up for another contest at the Flamingo Resort this March. Mr. Code Florida 2013 will be held at the resort the weekend of March. 22-24 and contestants can begin registering right away. The prelim to Mr. International Leather (IML) in Chicago will also give leather fans a chance to check out booths and vendors in the resort’s courtyard throughout the weekend. Several “demo” areas will also be set up for those attending to experience. To register for the competition, contestants can email CODE@FlamingoFla.com.

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