Brasserie: Popular St. Pete Restaurant Rebounds, Expands

The St. Pete Brasserie is expanding its digs at 539 Central Avenue.

According to owner Andrew Wilkins, the restaurant is building out the 600-foot space next door to provide seating for the Brasserie's busy lunch crowd as well as a space for music lovers to enjoy live music at night. "It's just been an overflow for the main dining room and private parties up until now," says Wilkins. "Once it's completed, it will open at 11 a.m., offering lunch all day and also late-night food with live entertainment in the evenings."

The Brasserie offers an eclectic menu of European fare that includes cassoulet, rack of lamb, escargot and paella.

The restaurant went through a distressing period recently and its future was uncertain. Wilkins says it was the support of the community that not only brought The Brasserie from the brink, but enabled it to thrive to the point of expansion. "Local support has been amazing in the last month," he says. "Facebook has been a key part to our increase in business along with a Bay News 9 story that went out a short while ago."

Wilkins, a native of Norwich, U.K., started his restaurant career with Ceviche. "I was an original Ceviche guy from 2000 till 2008, so I moved to St. Pete to open Ceviche in 2005. After leaving Ceviche I was waiting for the right opportunity to come up. I didn't have a penny to my name so all I could do was to take over a failing restaurant and re-concept it and hoped it worked."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Andrew Wilkins, The Brasserie

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