Just two years after leaving its spot on Central Avenue for the Warehouse Arts District, Daddy Kool Records is moving again. But they won’t be going far.
The beloved local record store is going from 2430 Terminal Drive S in St. Petersburg to the Factory St. Pete, a new arts compound that’s about a five-minute walk away. Daddy Kool will neighbor artist studios, arts-related nonprofits, a new Black Crow Coffee Co. location and an immersive art space called the Fairgrounds.
“We think it’s going to have a good impact on St. Petersburg,” said manager Manny Kool.
Added owner Tony Rifugiato: “We want to be part of it, especially developing a new area.”
The new spot will be in a brick warehouse similar to the current setup. It will remain a cashless operation, a change Daddy Kool Records adopted during the pandemic. Customers will be able to continue ordering online. And as shows return to Tampa Bay, concertgoers can expect to see live music at the new Daddy Kool, too.
Rifugiato opened the first Daddy Kool Records location in the Bradenton and Sarasota area in 1985, though that closed in 2001. A St. Petersburg spot followed in 1999, moving several times to various spots along Central Avenue over the years. The spot on 666 Central Ave. lasted close to 10 years before the area became too expensive. In April 2019, the store made the switch to its current spot in the Warehouse Arts District.
“They wanted us to be a part of the Factory, but the Factory wasn’t ready for us,” Kool said.
Daddy Kool will be in the current space through June 27. July 1 is the tentative opening date for its Factory St. Pete location.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s annual Record Store Day will be split into two “drops” on June 2 and July 17. The second will be celebrated at the new Daddy Kool.
“We’re very excited about moving into the new area, and being part of what the project is,” Rifugiato said. “There’s a lot more going on there than just being a retailer.”