ST. PETERSBURG — Leaving Daddy Kool Records’ longtime home on Central Avenue wasn’t easy for Manny Matalon. Especially considering his name was pretty much there on the door.
“To put 20 years in downtown, and for it to become something, and then you walk away from that?” said the shop’s manager, long known to customers as “Manny Kool.” “That was the hardest part: To work so hard to make it a popular foot-traffic space — and it worked — and then to have been shown the door.”
The silver lining, he said, is that he now has a chance to do it all over again.
After three dark weeks, Daddy Kool on Saturday will reopen in its new location, an industrial warehouse-style space at 2430 Terminal Drive in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District. While farther off the beaten path, the space has a lot going for it, including more than twice the retail floor space, a bar serving beer and wine and a stage for live music.
“It really is just a matter of reinventing ourselves,” Matalon said. “We can’t depend on that walk-by traffic, so we’re going to push to be a destination. We’re going to push to give people a reason to come here in the daytime.”
The reopening coincides with Record Store Day, an international celebration of independent record shops, featuring hundreds of exclusive vinyl releases by artists like the Foo Fighters, Madonna and Green Day. To mark the occasion, St. Petersburg’s Indie Flea Market will set up shop outside from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Alternative rockers Bad Suns, who play Jannus Live Saturday night, will come in for a meet-and-greet at noon. And Daddy Kool will host local bands including the Venus and They Hate Change starting at 5 p.m.
Daddy Kool opened on Central Avenue in 1999 — first next to the State Theatre, then one block east, then to its most recent home on the 600 block. It played a key role in that once-sleepy block’s revival as a creative and retail hub, which helped spur a similar renaissance across downtown St. Pete.
Over the years, the shop has hosted in-store performances and signings by the likes of Lucero and Johnny Winter. Celebrities like Billy Corgan, Susan Sarandon, the B-52s’ Fred Schneider and Tyler, the Creator have all shopped there.
While rising rents pushed Daddy Kool out of downtown, the new location isn’t as far-flung as one might think. It’s located right off the Pinellas Trail, a stone’s throw from Duncan McClellan Gallery and Atelier, both stops on the city’s popular Second Saturday ArtWalk. Daddy Kool will have a wall dedicated to a rotating roster of local artists, hoping to siphon some of that foot traffic.
“We have to adapt,” Matalon said. “Who knows? It could be one of those things where we’re still super busy.”
For more details on the new Daddy Kool, see daddykool.com.
As for the rest of Record Store Day across Tampa Bay? Here’s a glimpse of all the activity on Saturday.
Bananas Music: The retail shop will host live music starting at 11 a.m., including the Jackettes, Gloria West and the Gents, Reality Asylum and, at 2 p.m., Grammy-nominated singer Mary Gauthier, who has a show that night at the Attic in Ybor City. There will also be free beer, giveaways and customizable, screen-printed T-shirts. Doors at 9 a.m. 2887 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 327-4616. bananasrecords.com.
Clearwater Record Shop: The shop won’t have any exclusive Record Store Day titles, but they will be holding their monthly vinyl show with other dealers and collectors, with some offering 30 percent off. 1610 N Hercules Ave., Clearwater. (727) 200-9397. clearwaterrecordshow.com.
Disc Exchange: Sales will include BOGO deals on used vinyl $4.95 and under, and 10 percent off all used products. Doors are scheduled open at 10, but if buyers are lined up before that, owner Nick Sorace said he might let them in early. 6712 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 343-5845.
Dunedin Records and Audio: This audiophile-friendly shop will showcase an expanded collection of audio equipment and lots of Record Store Day titles. Doors open at 8 a.m. 430 Patricia Ave., Dunedin. (727) 423-4108.
Kingfish Records: In addition to giveaways, discounts, food and free beer, Kingfish will feature music from Greg Billings and Geoff Abraham at noon and Dovydas at 1 p.m. 26024-B U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. (727) 351-5177. kingfishrecords.com.
Microgroove: Fresh off their band Pohgoh’s East Coast tour with Jawbreaker, Keith and Susie Ulrey will host a day of bands in their shop, including Critical Hits, Hi-Beam, Lassyu and more. Look for Commune + Co. coffee in the morning, plus beer, kombucha and vegan sandwiches later in the day. Doors at 9 a.m. 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 667-7089. facebook.com/microgroovetampa.
Mojo Books and Records: In addition to goodie bags and free T-shirts for early risers, the shop will hold its first $1 vinyl sidewalk sale, a vegan bake sale and music from Charles Irwin, the Jackettes, Jensen Serf Company and more. Doors at 8 a.m. 2540 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 971-9717. facebook.com/mojotampa.
Planet Retro Records: Doors open at 8 a.m., with a punk flea market outside starting at 11 a.m. Bands include Car Bomb Driver, Liquid Pennies, Laser Mouth, Scam Likely and more. 226 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., St. Petersburg. (727) 218-7434. facebook.com/planetretrorecords.
Sound Exchange: Giving early risers even more incentive, the stores in Tampa (14246 N Nebraska Ave.) and Pinellas Park (8625 66th St. N) will allow the first 10 people in line inside the shop 15 minutes before everyone else. They’ll also have giveaways and more. Doors at 9 a.m. (813) 978-9316. soundexchangetampabay.com.
St. Pete Records: In their new location on the west end of Central Avenue, the shop will have giveaways, discounts on vintage vinyl and BOGO deals on $1 and $2 albums. 6648 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 490-8861. stpeterecords.com.
Steelworker Records: The shop won’t have any Record Store Day-exclusive releases, but it will be putting out upwards of 3,000 newly priced vintage vinyl when it opens at 10 a.m. 708 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa. (813) 666-4933. steelworkerrecords.com.
Vintage Vinyl: A new entry to Record Store Day, this Tarpon Springs music and memorabilia shop will host alt-rock station 97X outside. Doors open at 11 a.m. 38874 U.S. 19 N, Tarpon Springs. (727) 940-8301. vintagevinyl.biz.
Contact Jay Cridlin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.