2D Cafe joins the Greater Central District – The Crow’s Nest at USF St. Petersburg
The black and white cartoon theme, designed and painted by local artist Chad Mize, gives the illusion of being inside a coloring book.
Courtesy of Sophia George | The Crow’s Nest
By Sophie Georges
the 2d cafe, St. Petersburg’s newest addition to its quirky small business lineup, offers a traditional European-style cafe experience with an artistic twist.
With its grand opening on April 8, the 2D Cafe –– owned by Maria Merello and his wife Maria Kyriakidou –– is an immersive monochromatic space that makes both customers and the cafe’s offerings standout pops of color amid a black and white room.
The space was designed and hand painted by a renowned local artist Chad Mizewhich gives it a special connection with the rich artistic culture of Saint Petersburg.
Dining options at 2D Cafe include coffee, freshly baked pastries, salads and sandwiches, and there are plans to expand the menu to meet a wider range of customer needs.
“We want to add more gluten-free and vegan items just to have more options for anyone with dietary restrictions,” said general manager Alex Campbell. The Crow’s Nest.
According to Campbell, 2D cafes and restaurants have grown in popularity in America since they first appeared about five years ago in Asia and Europe.
“[Merello and Kyriakidou] are travelers from all over the world and on one of their trips they opened a Forbes magazine and saw a spread about one of the first 2D cafes that was created in Japan, and they thought that was a really cool idea,” Campbell said..
Merello and Kyriakidou had the idea of bringing a 2D restaurant experience to Florida for two years and originally wanted to open one in Orlando.
“Since St. Petersburg has had so much success and population growth, [Merello and Kyriakidou] actually thought it would be the perfect location, and then it was just about solidifying the location,” Campbell said.
2D Cafe is located at 2105 Central Ave., which was once home to Swah-Rey in the Grand Central District.
The Grand Central District –– which stretches First Avenue South, Central Avenue and First Avenue North from 16th Street North to 31st Street North –– is a hotspot for arts and entertainment and is home to local antique shops, bars, restaurants and art galleries.
Closing the location in December, it took only three months for Merello, Kyriakidou and their team to create and open the doors of their new business.
Campbell said The Crow’s Nest that the cafe’s opening week was a whirlwind, but praised locals and nearby business owners as “an army of nice people” who helped get them on their feet.