Vintage shops are on the rise in the Sunshine City, but the market doesn’t feel saturated. That’s because each store is defined by the curators and collectors that pick and pull items from across the country. Enter Curated Heat, a passion project from 4 area locals. They’ve long made waves digitally, but now they’re setting roots in the Grand Central District.
Those roots just happen to be covered in a bright, sprawling mural by Sebastian Coolidge.
Bringing rare vintage finds to Tampa Bay markets
I’m writing this while wearing a 1999 UConn Huskies National Championship tee. I was born and raised in Wallingford, Connecticut, and for most of us who grew up in that state, loving the Huskies is in our DNA. That and nutmeg.
The game was played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 29, 1999 and the Huskies beat Duke by 3 points. I had this shirt when I was a kid, but as time goes by old clothes wither, fade, rip and/or go missing. This shirt was the first item I spotted at Curated Heat, and I wasn’t about to leave without it.
A pop culture time capsule in the Grand Central District
It’s strange to have this kind of response to an item, but that’s the beauty of vintage shops. In my town, the things we had to look forward to were a bowl of fries at the Half Moon Cafe, the annual VoAg Fair, the Daffodil Festival, Beaumont Farms Christmas Display, and UConn Basketball. So yea, for me, I just brought a touch of home back to my apartment.
Folded next to me is a bright purple Phoenix Suns tee that I also picked up during my visit. Less of an emotional connection there, I just love the audacious design of 90s NBA teams.
If you’re in the market for rare old school NBA Jerseys, high-end rap tees, classic metal tees, and shirts from old horror and cult classic films, then this store is the “Shut Up and Take My Money” meme incarnate. If you have any vintage clothing you’re looking to sell, you can always bring it by the store.
VHS and N64 at the front of the store
The front of the shop features old VHS tapes and an N64 — when I was there Happy Gilmore was playing on a small boxy TV. The owners may have also curated the best in-store playlist in the ‘Burg.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a Big Lebowski or Tupac tee, you’re going to leave Curated Heat with something you love. As the name suggests, the selection here is fire.
Curated Heat is located at 2456 Central Avenue, and is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11am-7pm.