Cassis American Brasserie

St. Petersburg, FL

Cassis American Brasserie is a restaurant with a separate retail bakery, designed to resemble traditional brasseries in Paris, offering contemporary American-French cuisine. Located in downtown St. Petersburg, on the ground floor of a newly constructed condominium tower, the restaurant and bakery are located at a visible waterfront intersection, across the street from a waterfront park and municipal marina.

The architectural mission was simply to provide dining guests with a space where they feel comfortable lingering over a delicious well-cooked meal. The bakery is even more casual than the restaurant and also invites guests to linger over specialty coffee, baked breads and pastries, and house-made ice cream. The design of the restaurant evolved from a reaction to the existing space, which was originally a cold, dark shell with no walls, floors, ceilings, electricity or air conditioning. Today, the transformed, warm, open space includes a zinc-top bar, fabricated in France, and a vaulted back bar with wine storage.

In addition to the bar, guests can see the entire indoor dining room when they enter the restaurant. Two existing columns and an arched glass exterior wall set up the interior symmetry that helped to organize the space. The warm tones of the dark stained sepelle wood, golden yellow walls, coffered ceilings and drywall beams give the space its overall aesthetic. Clean lines and minimalistic décor align with the contemporary design of the existing condominium building shell. Extensive glass to the exterior creates an interior glow at night, which beckons guests to step inside. The outdoor terrace resembles a Parisian Café-style bistro with a touché of South Beach, courtesy of the colorful offset umbrellas.