The VW Beetle Wine Cooler at Za'Zoo'd.

Holiday Gift Guide: Walk & Shop on Central Avenue

A feature from duPont REGISTRY Tampa Bay‘s 2019 Holiday Issue.

There are something like 17 different shopping districts up and down St. Pete’s Central Avenue. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration — more like three or four. But for our walking/shopping purposes, we’re concentrating on the contiguous EDGE District, 600 and 500 blocks. We’ve covered the EDGE and the 600 Block in past issues (several of their boutiques made our A to Z List), but the EDGE has since become a mini-mecca for men’s clothing and there’s always something new to discover in the blocks just east. Seasonal tip: Head to the EDGE for their Holiday Magic Sip & Stroll event, featuring music, food. drink, shopping and a window contest on Thurs. Dec 5 from 5-9 p.m.; ticket info at edgedistrict.org.

Atlas Body + Home

919 Central Ave., atlasbodyandhome.com

It’s no accident that you’re seeing more and more denizens of Downtown St. Pete in shirts from Atlas; proprietors Tony Loeffler and Michael Griffin have an eye for what works in sportswear that takes you “from Beach to Beach Drive.” Case in point: this striking shirt in a print inspired by Darwin botanical drawings. But it’s not all shirts at Atlas; look for expertly crafted leather and canvas totes from Chester Wallace and Legend leather lace-ups from SeaVees. Pictured: Tori Richard shirt in 100% cotton lawn, printed in Japan and cut and sewn in Hawaii, $98.

Plain Jane

1104 Central Ave., plainjanestpete.com

There’s nothing plain about the clothes at Karen Porterfield’s charming boutique, as evidenced by this ridiculously colorful poncho from Johnny Was. She’s no slouch at jewelry, either, with stunning pieces by Chan Luu, plus droll canvas quote bags inscribed with words of wisdom by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and a smart, slightly sardonic selection of greeting cards. Johnny Was Reversible Garden Poncho, $298.

Gray Space

1114 Central Ave., grayspacefl.com

A-to-Z-Listers Gray Space have expanded their inventory since moving to the EDGE District’s Central Arcade, adding sleek women’s athleisurewear to their line of artisanal, environmentally conscious men’s clothing. And you gotta love Gordon and Jamie Hall’s EDGE-y sense of humor, exemplified by their “Oh Hell Yes” t-shirt (pictured) and a subtly suggestive short-sleeve buttondown by Catherine Rex. Oh Hell Yes Pocket Tee, $58.50; Catherine Rex Woven Buttondown, $63.

Matter of Fact

1029 Central Ave., shopmatteroffact.com

Opened this spring next to its sister store Ashe Couture, MoF packs a lot of witty choices and must-have pieces into its homey space (complete with big-screen TV and comfy couch so you can keep tabs on the game). Unique shirt designs and “dogdanas” by Kenny Flowers come with a great back-story (ask shop owner Matt Baker to explain), and there’s well-made casual wear from labels like Billabong and Vissla. But you might be most taken with the accessories collection, including such necessities for the modern man as beard oil and “Beer Money” clips. Best Damn Beer Oil by Duke Cannon, $30. Stop by MOF for info on other pictured items.

Graphi-ko Decor

653 Central Ave., graphi-ko.com

One of two Graphi-ko outposts on the 600 Block (the other focuses on jewelry and fine art), this one is a riot of color and whimsy, full of exotic metal creatures by Mexican artisans. Amidst all the birds, fish and flowers, look for the ceramics of Cuban-American artist Ramiro Ramirez, a Tampanian now living in Nebraska whose elaborate hand-worked creations are astonishing in their detail and invention. Ceramic houseboat by Ramiro Ramirez (center), $1,450; teapot, $228.

Za’Zoo’d

531 Central Ave., zazood.com

Beyond the most show-stopping window displays in St. Pete lies the zany world of ZaZoo’d, David Fischer’s irresistible mix of housewares, furnishings, art and tchotchkes, all with a touch of sass. In what other shop can you find a vintage Volkswagen Beetle paired with a miniature VW Bug wine cooler made from scrap metal and designed by an artist from Australia? (Note: Only the wine cooler is for sale.) VW Beetle Cooler by Aaron Jackson of Think Outside, $799.99.