Ferg’s to flip switch on refurbished World Liquors sign

The retro Central Avenue landmark will be turned on at its new home, with a block party to celebrate.
The World Liquors sign seen at its former home at the corner of Central Avenue and 16th Street in 2018. The sign, with new wording, will be turned on at Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill during a block party. Scott Keeler  |  Tampa Bay Times
The World Liquors sign seen at its former home at the corner of Central Avenue and 16th Street in 2018. The sign, with new wording, will be turned on at Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill during a block party. Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times
Published August 20

The World Liquors sign will once again glow with neon and slowly spin above Central Avenue, beginning Friday night.

Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill plans to flip the switch on the refurbished sign “sometime after sunset” during a “Ferg’s Lights Up the World” block party celebration from 6 to 10 p.m.

The bar’s owner, Mark Ferguson, purchased the sign in a charity auction last year after the World Liquors property a few blocks east was sold to developers building an apartment complex.

Before that, the sign with the spinning globe had stood at Central Avenue and 16th Street since 1961. The fate of the local landmark, an icon of St. Petersburg’s retro hipness, seemed in jeopardy until Ferguson bought it for $5,060.

He had the sign refurbished to read “Ferg’s World Famous" instead of “World Liquors Drive-In” and had it mounted outside Ferg’s at 1320 Central Ave. earlier this month.

It’s not the first time the sign has morphed. The globe was part of a sign for World Furniture until it was purchased and changed to a sign for World Liquors in 1961.

The bar’s Facebook page says the family- and pet-friendly block party will feature live music and giveaways.





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