TAMPA, Florida -- Since The Luxury Box is locatedacross the street from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the sports bar was set to be in the middle of all the action during the Republican National Convention.
The problem? Owner Stephen Davis says there were high mesh fences put up around the Forum and his business, without any warning given to him.
Davis says, as a result, customers lost access to The Luxury Box, and he lost nearly all his business for the week. Seventeenkegs and thousands of dollars worth of liquor, all intended for supposedly booming business during the convention, were loaded onto trucks on Monday to be sent back to distributors.
Now, a lawsuit isn't out of the question.
"It devastated our business," said Davis. "You never even knew we were here. The city never came to us and said, 'You're going to be inside the perimeter. You should close down.'Had somebody let us know what was going on, we probably wouldn't have opened."
So The Luxury Box is talking with lawyers about the next step in recouping its losses, though Tampa City Council Chairman Charlie Miranda says the city is not to blame.
"The city had certainly, way in advance, through the media, many times, put where the zones were, what they had to do, what the barricades were," he said. "The city had an awesome responsibility to deal with protecting not only the people from the convention, but the people who wanted to protest, and that is a very hard act to balance."
Now, the Luxury Box finds itself in its own balancing act.
"Was it really about the community, or was it only about what was going on inside the RNC and their private parties?" Davis asked.