Sunday, December 17, 2017

Seven quirky wonders of Central Avenue in St. Pete

Some of the most random, unique and incredibly cool places in Florida can be found tucked away on St. Petersburg's Central Avenue. You could spend an entire day sifting through old records, gazing at amazing art and eating the most diverse foods. If vintage is your thing, you will appreciate these seven wonders of Central Avenue that much more. We visited Central and picked out the seven quirkiest, hole-in-the-wall wonders that are perfect for after-school gatherings or weekend wanderings and ranked them on our Quirkiness Scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the quirkiest (in a good way). Even if you don't live in the neighborhood, these wonders are worth a visit.

The Craftsman House

2955 Central Ave. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. (727) 323-2787

This art gallery and cafe features creative and functional art from local artists and a healthy variety of foods that won't kill your good cholesterol (or raise your bad). Set up inside a charming bungalow with only slightly creaky floorboards, the Craftsman House gives such a homey feel that you could sit on the porch swings for ages. Go ahead and study your government homework while sipping a Barack-a-Latte, or enjoy the Florida sun with a pina-colada smoothie.

Rank: 8 As quirky as … the girl with the record player and record collection. Who needs iTunes anyway?

La Creperia Café

2901 Central Ave. Closed Mon.-Tues.; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Weds.-Thurs.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. (727) 327-7400

Set inside a metal trailer, this yummy spot may at first turn people away, but the amazing food will definitely draw you in. With sweet to savory crepes, there's a little taste of France for everyone. You can sit outdoors with an umbrella or inside a comfortably painted interior. Get super Frenchy with the Marie Antoinette crepe with bananas, Nutella, strawberries and Irish cream liqueur.

Rank: 7 As quirky as … the boy who never leaves the house without oxfords.

Milagros

1104 Central Ave. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.; closed Sun. (727) 821-7555

What better wind down from school stress than aromatherapy? Whether you want to make your own soap, or have the professionals do it, you'll be sure to find the right scent. This quaint little place has tons of soaps to suit any person's fancy, with fascinating artistic designs in each bar. The moment you step in the door, we promise you'll be hit with a wave of whatever paradise smells like.

Rank: 6 As quirky as … the kid who always burns incense in his room.

Central Perks

695 Central Ave. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon.- Fri.; closed Sat.-Sun. (727) 490-2017

The best place to go with your friends! (Wink, wink.) This cute little cafe is based on the one from the hit TV show Friends. Munch on a Joey Italian sub and eat a legit lunch. It's tiny, cute and colorful with a friendly staff who will call you by name. Even though it's in a hidden location, you'll be sure to search for it again.

Rank: 4 As quirky as … the one who wears fabric headbands and traditional Ray-Bans with high-waisted shorts to every concert .

Art Pool Gallery

2030 Central Ave. Gallery and boutique noon- 6 p.m. Tues.-Sat.; cafe 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tues.-Sat. (727) 324-3878

This vintage boutique, gallery, cafe and hive of activity is one of the best finds along Central Avenue. This quirky shop in two sections is home to crazy vintage items, from blue cowboy boots to fur coats, to hundreds of records and antiques of all kinds, including your grandma's kitchenware. You could spend hours wandering the store, finding something new each time you poke through a rack or shelf. Best part? It's got a great cafe and breezy open-air dining space.

On weekends, Art Pool will host parties and small concerts in the courtyard that divides the two spaces, so you have a place to wear your crazy vintage getups.

Rank: 10 As quirky as … the guy who brings his typewriter to Starbucks.

Brew D Licious

667 Central Ave. 7 a.m.- 4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat.; closed Sunday (727) 741-2249

This little hidden gem of a coffee shop is definitely high on the list of to-visit hole-in-the-wall places on Central Avenue.

On a pretty day, Brew D Licious, which is set inside a garage, opens its garage door to let the fresh air through to all those sitting on the comfy couches inside. This tiny place doesn't even have a sign except for the little name on the door. On our hunt for cool places, we walked right past it and had to do a double-take to make sure it really was a coffee shop! This is the perfect spot to bring a study group, or a quiet place to do homework or just relax.

Rank: 9 As quirky as … the girl who brings her Polaroid everywhere.

Street art

So the other wonders of Central Avenue will cost you money, but we promise this one won't break the bank. Enjoy street art that can rival that of Detroit all along the avenue. From Iron Man to puppies, a simple stroll down Central and its alleys can have you gasping at all this crazy talent simply spread out on the sides of buildings. (See accompanying story, Page 9.)

Rank: 4 As quirky as … the kid who wears two different long stripey socks as a fashion statement.

     
 
Comments
Broadway poised to go ‘Head Over Heels’ for Go-Go’s musical

Broadway poised to go ‘Head Over Heels’ for Go-Go’s musical

Which seems more unlikely: That the Go-Go's have a touring stage musical? That it's produced by Gwyneth Paltrow? Or that it will finally land on Broadway in the 2018-2019 season?Their lips are sealed no longer: All three of those are true. Variety re...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Billy Bragg kept it simple with ‘Levi Stubbs Tears’

Billy Bragg kept it simple with ‘Levi Stubbs Tears’

One last history lesson this week from columnist Kevin Wuench: Next week, English troubadour Billy Bragg turns 60 years old. While we pay tribute to Billy Bragg, he in turn will pay tribute to a great Motown singer with Levi Stubbs Tears.Billy Bragg ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

Winner of the weekRick Scott. The governor and likely U.S. Senate challenger to Bill Nelson, likely will face tough headwinds with unpopular Donald Trump in the White House in 2018. But at least he won't have to contend with constant questions about ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hirscher breaks Tomba's record with 5th GS win in Alta Badia

Hirscher breaks Tomba's record with 5th GS win in Alta Badia

Marcel Hirscher dominates both runs to take a record fifth straight win in the Alta Badia giant slalom
Updated: 6 minutes ago

American man recaptured after 5-day Indonesia manhunt

Police have recaptured an American man who escaped from an overcrowded and understaffed prison on Indonesia's resort island of Bali
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Israeli workers strike nationwide to protest Teva layoffs

Israeli workers strike nationwide to protest Teva layoffs

Israel's national trade union has held a half-day nationwide strike to protest generic drugmaker Teva's decision to lay off a quarter of its workforce, snarling traffic and shuttering key services across the country
Updated: 8 minutes ago

Taliban kill 11 Afghan police in attack on checkpoints

An Afghan official says Taliban insurgents have attacked checkpoints in the southern Helmand province, killing 11 police
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Prince Harry interviews Obama for radio show

Prince Harry interviews Obama for radio show

Britain's Prince Harry has interviewed Barack Obama for a radio program in which the former U.S. president shared his memories of the day he left office and his hopes for the future
Updated: 16 minutes ago

AP Top News at 8:53 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 8:53 a.m. EST
Updated: 20 minutes ago
50 Chinese couples marry in Sri Lanka in mass ceremony

50 Chinese couples marry in Sri Lanka in mass ceremony

Clad in traditional Chinese, western and Sri Lankan costumes and with local drummers and dancers performing, 50 Chinese couples were married at a mass wedding ceremony in Sri Lanka's capital
Updated: 26 minutes ago