Poised to launch on Central Avenue in the coming week, Saigon Blonde promises an immersive departure from the day-to-day bar experience. Intentionally mixing history and fiction, the narrative look of the new bar features design elements like commissioned artwork and custom fixtures to create “a surreal setting unlike any other in the Tampa Bay area.”
Throughout the bar, special consideration has been given to the role art and design play in telling the story of Saigon Blonde. Artwork is integral to the experience and much of it was created by local contemporary realist Jean Michael Fait. His commissioned series “A Libertine in Saigon” expresses both the cultural value of the past as well as the importance of contemporary art and local entertainment.
Despite its international inspiration, Saigon Blonde is already rooted in local culture. Offering a full bar throughout, its inventive cocktail menu, which boasts a serious lineup of tropical ingredients and flavors (rambutan purée, for instance), sources produce from the local Farm Fresh Produce and the bar will have local selections from American Freedom Distillery, among others.
In support of St. Pete’s recent move away from straws and other single-use plastics, the Saigon Blonde team is making decisions with their environmental footprint in mind. The disposable drinkware for the outdoor bar will be a plant-based bioplastic option, and straws will be paper and largely by request only. Like many other downtown establishments, they struggle with the lack of recycling services available, but are investigating other ways to decrease their environmental impact.
Saigon Blonde will be located at 265 Central Ave.