Funeral home bids farewell to stained glass and pews; offers 'speakeasy' experience instead

A modern-day speakeasy has opened in Tampa where you can party like it’s Ybor City 1929. But it's not where you might expect.

This speakeasy is located in the Blount & Curry Funeral Home on MacDill Avenue.

"Gone are the days of organ grinders, stained glass, pews. We've removed all of that," said funeral director Bridgette Soto. "Now it's more about creating a blank open, light, airy space that we can personalize to the actual individual who passed away. We wanted to kind of pay tribute to Tampa, the original roots of Tampa, Ybor City, Cuban, Italian immigrants, the days when they were rolling cigars, the days when they would make booze and they were sending it to New York and New Jersey."

Another venue in the building called Palma Ceia Hall also goes outside the box on memorials.


"That room is unique because it has seven different projectors. It's called an environmental projector and the idea is that we create a totally immersive space," Soto said. "So, for example, if a family loved the beach, we'll have images of the waves crashing ashore on one side and the bay on the other side. If they liked Walt Disney World, we could put an image of Main Street on both sides so you feel like you're in the Magic Kingdom."

And these spaces aren't just reserved for funerals.

"We are open to any type of event," Soto explained. "We are open to retirement parties, birthday parties, weddings."


It's a new twist on funerals and funeral homes. 

"We're the first in Tampa Bay but I would think some of our other properties might start renovating and incorporating themed rooms," he said. "We're just really excited and we welcome anyone to come check it out."

LINK: For more information about the Blount & Curry Funeral Home, click here