Nothing saddens me more than when a record store, especially a cool one like Tampa's Vinyl Fever, closes its doors forever. But such is the case with this place that has brought much joy and a steady counterpoint to the inflated egos of corporate giants in the southern end of Tampa and across the I-275 bridge to St. Petersburg.
After 31 years faithfully serving the community's vinyl, music poster, alternative cinema, curio, and memorabilia needs in various locales, it's been a tough couple of years as of late for owner Lee Wolfson, who has called it quits and has generously scaled back his asking prices with some serious 30 to 75 percent off his stock.
Admittedly, my first taste of Tampa's Vinyl Fever came two years ago when my brother, living in St. Pete at the time, took me there for an afternoon of shopping. Last year, I visited the area four or five times, and each time, I made it a point to stop by and flip through the stacks.
I found stuff every time. And for people who go record shopping, that's a special feeling. While the Tallahassee store will remain operational (shopped there once in 2003), please note that the Tampa store has pulled off its eBay listings, has brought stuff out from the "untouchable" sector of the backroom, and wants to get up-to-date with pending consignments.
In other words, how's a day trip out to Tampa next week sound to you?
Here are their hours of operation through February 1:
Monday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday - Friday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 noon to 7 p.m.
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Vinyl Fever Tampa
4110 Henderson Blvd.
The pizza joint next door ain't bad either, and there's a CVS in the corner in case you want to buy toothpaste or cigarettes.