Tampa Bay and St. Pete’s restaurant landscape is just as diverse as its population. Each neighborhood offers a different kind of taste: some traditional Americana, some hip and new, others reflecting the culinary traditions of centuries past, and the arrival of different culinary traditions from around the world. You can eat your way from Hyde Park, to Seminole Heights, to Downtown, to Parkland, and still want robeom for dessert. To keep up with all these different demands, the architecture and design community of the area has to learn to work, design, build, and cater to every type of culinary establishment. Here are the Top 10 Restaurant Architects working in Tampa.

Top Architects


Juan Romero

Progressive Grocer awards for Best Remodel,
Best Store Design and Best New Concept,
ARE Gold Award

2709 N Rocky Point Drive 20, Tampa, Florida 33607

About api(+)

Juan Romero founded his firm Architecture Plus International, or api(+), in 1999. api(+) has used their home in Tampa to focus on developing architecture for food retail, specialty retail, restaurants, and retail centers for a diverse set of national and international clients. Some of these nearby restaurants include Bartaco in Hyde Park Village and Grillsmith in Clearwater. Their work has won a variety of prizes, including Progressive Grocer awards for Best Remodel in 2015, and Best Store Design and Best New Concept design in 2014. They’ve also been awarded the 2015 Gold Award from the A.R.E and were given First Place in the 2011 ISP/VM+SD International Store Design Competition. Romero himself has also been a featured speaker at culinary and food-service industry conferences, for organizations such as the Food Marketing Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers, the National Grocers Association ,and many others.

Featured Projects

Architecture Plus International has worked on numerous restaurants across the Tampa Bay area. Just some of those include the 9,700-square-foot Del Frisco Grille in Metwest, Tampa. The steakhouse serves around 450 guests, and another 160 on its rooftop deck with retractable roof. With the Metwest commercial area growing, 60k to 70k office workers nearby are looking for restaurants to go to, but for lunch and to wine and dine clients. api(+) designed Del Frisco Grille with that in mind. The architecture firm has also designed and built a number of Earl of Sandwich restaurants across the Tampa/St. Pete area. The restaurants a menu of sandwiches, wraps, salads and desserts. They’ve built branches in downtown Tampa, Northwest Tampa, Edgemoor in St. Pete, and another in Bayport West.

Design Styles Architecture

Andy Dohmen
Jason Dickens

Southeast Building Conference Aurora Awards,
USGBC LEEDership Award

1708 E Columbus Drive, Tampa, FL 33605

About Design Styles Architecture

At home in the historic Ybor City, flanked by the landmark J.C. Newman Cigar Company (America’s oldest family-owned premium cigar maker), are the offices of Design Styles Architecture. Founded in 1998, it is a full-service architecture and interior design firm specializing in residential, commercial, and educational projects, and, most importantly, restaurants. Design Style Architecture (or DSA) is led by Andy Dohmen, AIA, NCARB. He is also currently affiliated with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC). Since 2011, DSA has also been shepherded by Chief Operating Officer and Lead Principal Jason Dickens, who was nominated for the CFO of the Year award by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. He is extremely committed to giving back to the Tampa Bay/St. Pete area, currently serving as the president of the Tampa County Place Homeowners Association, and he is on the board of the local history Ybor City Museum and sits on the East Tampa Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Advisory Committee.

Featured Projects

In 2013, the Shephard’s Beach Resort in Clearwater Florida turned to Design Style Architecture to help them build their Ocean Flame Restaurant. Offering breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, The Ocean Flame is a premier destination in the Tampa Bay/St. Pete area. The restaurant features large see-through ceiling panels illuminated with an array of color-changing LED lights and glowing glass “waves” that help form the inside of the restaurant. The glass waves changes colors as you move throughout the restaurant, illuminating its delicious menu of sushi and raw bar items. Also featured at the Shephard’s Beach Resort is The Salt Bar. With a more industrial but warm design approach, The Salt Bar creates a vibrant and energetic mood. DSA used materials like steel and polished concrete to create an energetic, fun place for a cocktail or a glass of wine while watching the beautiful ocean views.

Cuhaci & Peterson

Jed Down
Norberto Campos

1925 Prospect Avenue, Orlando, FL 32814

About Cuhaci & Peterson

Cuhaci & Peterson, established in nearby Orlando, Florida, has done extensive work in the Tampa Bay/St. Pete area. They’ve worked on a variety of restaurant projects, from visualization and construction documents to interior design. A senior member of the C&P executive team and Principal Director is Jed Down, AIA. Down is also on the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB), and he recently joined an American Institute of Architects (AIA) committee for the 2017 National conference. Additionally, he is a newly appointed board member at the University of Florida City Lab program in Central Florida. Michael Lynch, another leading principal, is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Norberto Campos, AIA, is also also a principal director at C&P. He is member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), has a Master of Architecture from the National University in Argentina, and is a member of the Argentina Architects Association.

Featured Projects

Cuhaci & Peterson has the history and experience when working with restaurant spaces. They’ve dealt with every variety of dining entity, from fast food and fast casual to high-end specialty restaurants and international brands. Led by Michael Lynch and Norberto Campos, C&P worked to help bring in Mitchell’s Fish Market at Westshore Plaza. The 5,500-square-foot restaurant at Westshore Plaza in Tampa was designed for Ruth’s Hospitality Group. It offers a selection of fresh seafood, a raw bar, and a fully-stocked liquor bar. They’ve also worked on Mellow Mushroom in nearby Lakeland, Florida. The 7,300-square-foot restaurant built on a 1.3 acre outparcel was a project by C&P for House of Leonard Restaurants. The restaurant is a fun, quirky, and funky pizzeria that features unique artwork all over, and a menu of craft beer, calzones, and creative, stone-baked pizzas.

Alfonso Architects, Inc.

Alberto E. Alfonso
Carlos J. Alfonso
Angel del Monte

AIA Florida Design Honor Award,
AIA Award of Excellence,
Eduardo Garcia Award

1705 N 16th Street, Tampa, FL 33605

About Alfonso Architects, Inc.

The history of Florida is often interwoven with the history of its southern neighbor, Cuba. And with that history also comes the food and tastes from the Caribbean and Cuba, which has become an important and crucial part of Tampa’s culinary ethos. The history and ethos of Alfonso Architects is no different. Alberto E. Alfonso, AIA, left Havana, Cuba for for his new home in Tampa Bay in 1960. Over the last half-century, he’s developed into a world-renowned and feted architect, recently being awarded the American Institute of Architects State of Florida 2008 Design Honor Award. The firm also includes Founding Principal and CEO Carlos J. Alfonso. It also boasts the work of Angel del Monte, founding principal and vice president, who was a recent recipient of the Eduardo Garcia Award from the Florida Central Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Featured Projects

Working with restaurant founders Chris Sullivan, Terry Ryan, Nancy Schneid, and Alex Sullivan, Alfonso Architects helped design and construct the Carmel Café and Wine Bar. Located in the Parkland Estates neighborhood of Tampa, the $2M restaurant measures out to about 4,000 square feet. Carmel Café and Wine Bar also contains a unique, separate seating space that seats up to 16 guests amongst two long tables positioned in front of the restaurant’s domestic and international wine collection. Founding Principal Alberto Alfonso described it as utilizing a “color palette that would reflect the menu concept of Mediterranean cuisine, which is broadly interpreted here and applied with modern twists.” The restaurant also features an original 30-foot high wall mural painted by the architect himself.

Mesh Architecture LLC

Tim Clemmons
Jenny Miers

Tampa Bay AIA Merit Awards,
Tampa Bay AIA Honor Awards,
Tampa Bay AIA President’s Award

33 6th Street S, Suite 400, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

About Mesh Architecture LLC

Located in Downtown St. Petersburg, just a few minutes away from The Museum of Fine Arts, is the offices of MESH Architecture. Their innovative design team of over 50 staff members. they create unique restaurant and culinary designs that cater to both the upscale and slow food markets.Principal Architect Tim Clemmons, AIA LEED AP, has won a series of awards, including a 2009 Tampa Bay AIA Merit Award, two 2008 Tampa Bay AIA Honor Awards, a 2004 Tampa Bay AIA President’s Award, and a 2001 Tampa Bay AIA Merit Award for their work at the St. Petersburg Arts Center – 2001 Tampa Bay AIA Merit Award. Their other lead principal is Jenny Miers, AIA., who holds a master’s degree from the Architecture University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida. She’s held the title of associate director for the AIA Tampa Bay Board and received USF SACD’s “Emerging Architect Award” in 2011.

Featured Projects

Winning a 2009 Tampa Bay AIA Merit Award, Z Grille in St. Petersburg is an example of the incredible work done by MESH Architecture. Found on the first floor of Signature Place in St. Pete’s Downtown, the 2,400 square-foot, 100-seat restaurant has found incredible success. Catering to the owner and chef’s California roots, the architects worked to integrate a skateboarding decor and theme into the restaurant, including a bamboo structure designed to recall a half pipe. Z Grille’s open kitchen is framed under a “proscenium arch,” while the countertops use a unique cast resin, colored to evoke vintage skateboard wheels, and “grind rail” foot rests. MESH has also worked on designing all of the new locations for the new Tampa-based chain of Burrito Boarder. After the success of their first “Burg-born” restaurant, located at 17 3rd Street North in downtown Saint Petersburg, their newest collaboration with Burrito Boarder is in Carrollwood in Northern Tampa. Measuring out to 1,800 square feet, this Burrito Boarder offers delicious Tex-Mex with a bright and colorful decor, highlighted by its unique, concrete “wave-textured” floor.

SOL design Studio, LLC

Carlos Molnar

AIA Tampa Bay Merit Award,
AIA Tampa Bay Honor Award for Design Excellence,
AIA National Award for Design Excellence

1726 East 7th Avenue, Suite #1, Tampa, FL 33605

About SOL design Studio, LLC

Carlos Molnar, AIA, is the managing principal and co-founder at SOL Design Studios in Tampa. Although at home in Tampa, he’s worked throughout America’s Southeastern area and in Puerto Rico. Molnar is currently serving as president of the AIA Tampa Bay Chapter, having taken over the position in 2015. Before that, he was 2014’s vice president/president elect, their 2013’s treasurer, and, from 2010 to 2012, the chairman of the AIA Awards Banquet. He’s also currently an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Architecture and Community Design. Michael Renaud, AAIA, joins Molnar as a lead principal and co-founder of SOL. He’s worked for over a decade in the Tampa Bay area. He’s been awarded as the 2013 Winner of the “BEYOND THE GRID” International Competition and received the 2010 AIA Tampa Bay Merit Award, the 2006 AIA Tampa Bay Honor Award for Design Excellence, the 2005 AIA National Award for Design Excellence, and a 2003 AIA Tampa Bay Merit Award.

Featured Projects

When the famous Yeoman’s Road Pub in David Island decided to move to Downtown Tampa, SOL Design Studio worked to create an authentic English Pub in the middle of Tampa’s CBD, or Central Business District. The new location was renamed “Yeoman’s Cask and Lion” and features an extremely British decor. The exterior utilizes a unique bright blue and astroturf, while the inside of the pub includes a 4,800-square-foot wooden, brick, and polished-stone designed dining area. Covering the walls of the Cask and Lion is artwork by local artist Justin Peterson, featuring large pop illustrations of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, and The Rolling Stones’ seemingly immortal Keith Richards. Yeoman’s Cask & Lion offers a capacity of around 175 customers, a full bar and a 1,000-square-foot patio, and it has its own two (wooden) Queen’s Guards keeping watch at the entrance.

Elevation Architecture

Dennis Carr
Sergei Klein

H. Dean Rowe Award for Design Excellence

5813 South MacDill Avenue, Tampa, FL 33611

About Elevation Architecture

Not far from Ballast Point Bay, off the shore of Southern Tampa, are the offices of Elevation Architecture. The firm was started in 2009 by award-winning architect Dennis Carr, AIA, but he has been in the Tampa area since 1992. A much-feted local architect, Carr has been honored with highest design award achievable in the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects: the H. Dean Rowe Award for Design Excellence. He is committed to serving the Tampa Bay area and works on serves on the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Planning & Management Committee, as well as volunteering his time at at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.

Elevation Architecture has grown to cater to the architecture needs of his neighborhood and beyond, including Tampa, South Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Dunedin, Belleair, Sarasota, and Bradenton. He’s worked on restaurants that match and cater to the tastes of different parts of Tampa.

Featured Projects

Bern’s Steakhouse in the Hyde Park neighborhood is one of the most famous and highly rated restaurants in Tampa, having been around since the 1950s. Looking to branch out, the owners looked to open a new restaurant to pair with Bern’s that would offer something different to a different clientele base. Working in Tampa’s SoHo district, Elevation Architecture worked together with the team from Bern’s Steakhouse to create Haven Wine Bar. Haven Wine Bar offers its clientele unique entrees, crafted cocktails, and a hallowed wine selection. The architects worked to create a restaurant that is “warm and comfortable, outfitted in a variety of natural materials reflecting the authenticity of the dining concept.” Haven Wine Bar’s dining area measures in around 2,900 square feet, along with a the first-class kitchen of approximately 1,900 square feet.

BDG Architects

Chris Kirschner

100 Ashley Drive S, #100, Tampa, FL 33602

About BDG Architects

Tampa is a unique and diverse city, and it has a unique culinary environment to match. Catering to a wide and diverse clientele is an important challenge for any architecture firm. BDG is up to that task. They’ve worked on a long list of restaurants in the Tampa Bay/St. Pete area, including Davidoff of Geneva, Citrus, Kres Chophouse, Beef’s Express, Mellow Mushroom, PDQ, SORA, Malio’s Prime Steakhouse, Mia’s, and Rococo Steakhouse. Their lead principal is Chris Kirschner, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP. Reflecting the goals of BDG, Kirschner is personally invested in being truly connected to the Tampa Bay/St. Pete area. He is also on the board of the Tampa YMCA and NAIOP and is an active member of the USGBC, AIA, ICSC and NFPA.

Featured Projects

BDG has worked on a wide variety of projects to match different restaurant and food-service demands. One of these projects includes current food and beverage renovations at the Tampa Bay International Airport. The company worked with a number of restaurants and food service companies to integrate them into the airport, including Four Green Fields, Auntie Anne’s, RumFish Grill, Cafe by Mise en Place, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, New York New York Pizza, and PDQ. BDG has also worked on creating upscale culinary experiences. One of these is Rococo Steak in downtown St. Petersburg, near the famous Dali Museum. Refurbished from a 1920s mansion, the restaurant caters to a hip crowd for food and drinks. The restaurant and bar and seating area measures in at around 8,000 square feet. BDG worked to create a space that lived up to its name, designing it after the “Rococo” architectural style.


John Mistretta
Billy Rapp

1605 N Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602


Started by Principal Architects John Mistretta (AIA and NCARB) and Billy Rapp (Principal Architect + ID, AIA, NCARB and LEED BD+C), JUNTO is a hip and forward-facing architecture firm. They not only work in Tampa: they’ve turned Tampa into a home for any epicurean resident or visitor. JUNTO has worked on a large variety of restaurants across the Tampa Bay area, including the 2,400-square-foot Rooster & The Till in Seminole Heights, the 800-square-foot Ichicoro Roof Deck in Seminole Heights, the 7,900-square-foot Whiskey Joe’s in Port Richey, the 2,016-square-foot Twisted Sun Rum in Seminole Heights, the 1,998-square-foot Reading Room in St. Pete, the 3,000-square-foot Fabrica Pizza in St. Pete, and the over half-acre ReUnion Park in Seminole Heights.

Featured Projects

Rooster & The Till in Seminole Heights is led by owners Ty Rodriguez and Ferrell Alvarez, and by Chef De Cuisine, Brian Lampe. Together with JUNTO they’ve created a 2,400-square-foot restaurant that has left an edible mark on the area. The Tampa Bay Times explains that “Rooster & the Till goes a long way to cement [Seminole Heights] as the Tampa Bay area’s culinary polestar.” Offering fresh farm-to-table entrees, Rooster & Till has been a huge success. The culinary and critical reviews of the JUNTO’s projects don’t stop there. Working with neighborhood local Freefall Theatre co-founder Kevin Lane, his husband Kevin Damphouse, and partners Jessika Palombo and Lauren Macellaro, JUNTO helped construct the 1,998-square-foot restaurant The Reading Room. Tampa Bay Times describes the restaurant’s style as “white and boxy, the building gestures at mid-century modern, more Eichler-practical than Frank Lloyd Wright.” JUNTO has found an indelible touch in creative, attractive restaurants in the Seminole Heights neighborhood.

BECK Architecture, LLC

Joe Harrington, Principal
Ryan Toth, Regional Director

AIA Merit Award for Architecture for Historic Renovation,
The Planning Commission Planning & Design Award of Merit for Redevelopment and Historic,
ABC Excellence in Construction Awards

220 West 7th Avenue, Tampa FL 33602

About BECK

Although The Beck Group started in 1912, they’ve been in Tampa for a while, dating back to 1961. Centered in Tampa Heights, they’ve worked to revitalize the neighborhood and city, with the company employees having volunteered for thousands of hours and local nonprofit charities. In 2015, the company won five Excellence in Construction awards from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Florida Gulf Chapter. Joe Harrington is a principal architect for the Tampa office. He relocated to Tampa in 2007, where he’s led design on award-winning projects, including Café 124 at USF CAMLS, Bizou Brasserie at Le Meridien Tampa, and Ulele projects. Beck was also the architect on the new 7venth Sun Brewery in Tampa. Regional Director, Ryan Toth, LEED AP, has been named one of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Florida Gulf Coast Chapter’s 2015 “Top 20 Under 40” Young Professionals and2012 Up and Comers by Tampa Bay Business Journal. Ryan was on MOSI’s Board of Directors from 2013-2014, Friends of the Riverwalk Steering Committee from 2009-2012, Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors from 2008-2011 and Red Cross Board of Directors 2012-2014. He was in Leadership Tampa Class of 2008 and Tampa Connection Class of 2010-2011. Some of Ryan’s more relevant affiliations include The University of Tampa Board of Fellows, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, and the University of South Florida Alumni Association.

Featured Projects

Ulele is considered one of the best restaurants in Tampa and is crown jewel of the Tampa Beck Group’s portfolio. The 8,800-square-foot Native American restaurant sits overlooking the Hillsborough River. The restaurant includes an outdoor beer garden and its own brewhouse, with as a natural spring that empties into the river. Beck has also installed a bronze statue of Ulele, the mythic Native American figure who is the restaurant’s namesake. The restaurant was created by Beck transforming an abandoned, turn-of-the-century water works building and water pumping station into one of USA Today’s Top 10 Best Places to Eat in Tampa. Beck worked diligently to renovate the space with both functional and aesthetic components, working to preserve the historic character and exterior red brick façade of the water works building.