Founded by Lauren Chezaud, Cafe Soleil has been a popular St. Pete Beach French bakery destination for ten years. The cafe closed its doors on November 14 after being pushed out of its home to make way for a new Starbucks, but it’s prepared to come back better than ever this winter with a new location less than a mile away. Cafe Soleil will reopen at 55021 Gulf Blvd., in a space more than double the size of its previous home.
“We’re going to be able to do all kinds of things we couldn’t do before,” Lauren Chezaud told What Now on Friday, discussing the circumstances that led to the move and the cafe’s vision for the future. “We’re seeing this as a blessing in disguise because although it’s stressful, it’s challenging us to be more creative with the food.”
To that end, Cafe Soleil will be expanding on its popular bakery items—which, fear not, aren’t going anywhere. The cafe will be offering French wines and cocktails, plus more French specialties. Many of these new additions are still under wraps, but Chezaud says the new location will feature a chocolate mousse and crème brûlée bar.
Despite the significant increase in available space, Chezaud says, the new Cafe Soleil location won’t be trying to pack in excessive seating.
“We’re not greedy,” Chezaud said. “There will be more seating, but we don’t want to expand too much. We don’t want to expand in a way where we can’t control what we’re serving.”
Cafe Soleil is hoping to reopen in late December or early January. In the meantime, keep up with this local brand by following @cafesoleilbakery on Instagram.