Daddy Kool Records leaving downtown St. Petersburg's 600 block

Shoppers browse through the vinyl on Record Store Day 2016 at Daddy Kool Records in St. Petersburg. [Luis Santana | Times]
Shoppers browse through the vinyl on Record Store Day 2016 at Daddy Kool Records in St. Petersburg. [Luis Santana | Times]
Published February 2
Updated February 3

Daddy Kool Records, a go-to St. Petersburg destination for vinyl records and one of the last vestiges of the music scene on downtown's 600 block, is moving.

The longtime music and ticket retailer announced Saturday that it's moving to 2430 Terminal Drive in the Warehouse Arts District in April. The new store will eventually have a stage for live music.

The existing store will hold its final sidewalk sales on Feb. 23 and March 23 before closing March 31. Its grand re-opening will be April 13 -- Record Store Day 2019.

"The people that we'll be working with are like-minded, local and supporters of the arts, so that really goes a long way," said store manager Manny "Manny Kool" Matalon. "The goal is to have beer and wine so people can sip and shop, and then also we'll have live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Obviously, you can't do that in a 1,000- to 2,000-square-foot-space. But you can get away with that in a 4,000-square-foot space."

It's the latest -- and one of the last -- moves in what has become a near-total makeover of the 600 block, one of the first sections of a then-moribund downtown St. Pete to experience an artistic resurgence. Two adjacent music venues have closed in the past two years -- the Local 662 in 2017, and Fubar in December.

And across the street from Daddy Kool, the State Theatre is approaching a year without concerts as it undergoes an expensive renovation in the face of a $2.1 million purchase last summer. It had been closed after losing concerts in the wake of a series of fire code violations dating back to 2016.

"The rent where we are now, and all around us, is three times what we had been paying," Matalon said. "Our business can't sustain that kind of price. To go from $3,000 a month to $9,000 a month isn't really sustainable."

But the Warehouse District, he said, presents a new opportunity to reinvent what they're doing.

"The artists come in, make the scene cool, and then everything else happens after that," he said. "And that's what the Warehouse District is. The cool things that are going on in the Warehouse District are all artist-related."

The store announced the news during Localtopia, a market featuring local retailers in Williams Park. Matalon said customers who've stopped by were surprised.

"People are sad to see us moving," he said, "but glad we're staying open."