The newly merged Ritz Ybor concert venue and Czar nightclub will have a grand opening Friday when Czar's weekly Filthy Richard Party premieres at its new home. The Ritz has been closed for several weeks after it was announced last month the popular Ybor City nightlife destinations were merging under one roof. Czar is moving its operations out of the historic Los Novidades building, at 1420 E. Seventh Ave., and into The Ritz building across the street, at 1503 E Seventh Ave. The Ritz underwent an extensive interior renovation in that time, including the addition of a 40-by-40-foot “LED ceiling” inside its main theater, a news release said. Those renovations also reportedly include more bar areas as well as changes to the sound system and the look and layout of the venue to make it function better as a nightclub. Czar's other DJ-driven dance nights, including Atomic Wednesdays and The People's Party on Saturdays, will continue to take place weekly at the new home under the banner of Czar at the Ritz, while The Ritz Ybor will continue to host concerts as well as private parties and special events.
Management for the combined venues said concerts and club nights shouldn't interfere with each other, since most of The Ritz's concerts end between 11 p.m. and midnight, when most Czar partiers are just arriving. Swedish girl-pop duo Icona Pop will perform at The Ritz on Sunday, the first concert since the renovation. Director of operations Stephanie Petrucelli said the move should solidify The Ritz as “the top nightlife and entertainment venue in the entire Tampa Bay area.” “Staff from both companies are thrilled to work together to create an unforgettable experience for all generations at one of Ybor City's historic and most treasured landmarks,” she said. The Ritz Ybor's upcoming concert schedule includes electronic dance music DJs Zedd (Sept. 7) and Thomas Gold (Sept. 18), singer-songwriters Matt Nathanson (Oct. 17) and Jessie Ware (Oct. 23), and rock bands Sick Puppies (Oct. 2), Gwar (Nov. 5) and The Devil Wears Prada (Dec. 7). Other events planned for the venue include the Tampa Bay Technology Forum's annual Tech Jam (Aug. 22) and The Krew of Sea SaveYours Steampunk Jubilee (Sept. 14).