It looks like a war zone out front of well-known watering hole Hattricks Tavern.
Concrete barriers are set up. Chain-link fence lines Franklin Street. And myriad law enforcement stand garrison at what is the entrance into the convention zone just outside the bar's front door.
The obstacles would not bode well for most businesses, but not Hattricks.
Latisha Heffernan, owner of the popular pub, said she leased the space to the RNC for the week. She is hosting private parties for Anheuser-Busch and Honeywell.
The deal insulated her unlike other downtown Tampa restaurants who are suffering from the lack of business.
“It’s been good for us,” Heffernan said. “My place is their place now.”
If it were not for the deal to host those parties Heffernan admits she would have had to shut down for the week.
“We’re right here,” she said. “We don’t want to close our doors.”
Sure there have been countless congressman and lots of lobbyists, but the coolest people so far to come in to Heffernan? Two rocket scientists who helped work on the Mars rover.
Business should be back to normal Friday, she said.
“And all our regulars will come in asking ‘What happened?’” Heffernan said with a laugh.