Amid the drug stores, pizza places and Starbucks of Plainview Centre stands Brasserie Cassis, offering French cuisine in a Paris cafe setting.
The restaurant is operated by the Reststar Hospitality Group based in Huntington, which runs bistros in Huntington, Roslyn and Port Washington, along with New York City. The Plainview location has been open for four years, and Patch spoke with manager Ryan Klampfer about the Cassis concept and how business has been.
Q. Tell us about opening in Plainview four years ago and what makes this restaurant unique.
A. A lot of our customers come here and feel like they're in a restaurant in Paris, which you don't find around these parts. We opened one up in Huntington (Bistro Cassis) 7-8 years ago; it did well. We tried a few other concepts in that spot, but that one really took off. After Roslyn and Manhattan, we opened one up here.
Q. How has this type of business model evolved since you opened in Plainview?
A. The model has stayed the same. However with the economy and prices, we try and keep our prices the same, but our purveyors are raising prices. What we try and do is watch our costs closer, pay more attention to portioning and market prices; find different deals. So it's a lot more work on our end so we can offer the same [quality] product to our guests.
Q. Where do you see this concept heading in the coming years?
A. You're starting to see this concept more on the Island. You've had the upscale restaurant with the white tablecloth serving the small French dishes. Now, this is more the 'people's restaurant' [with] everyday, classic French food. There's more competition like Sage Bistro in Woodbury. [I think] the French concept is going to be the new Italian concept, how that was popular 20 years ago. Now French is doing well and you see more popping up. It won't be too original before too long.
Q. With the economy being what it has been the last few years, how has business been holding up?
A. Across the board we're up from last year. We took a little hit two years ago and last year things started to come up and this year a little bit more. A lot of restaurants have been going out of business, so if you're still in business you're doing all right.
Q. What is it about this location in Plainview that keeps you in business? How does the future look?
A. Plainview is not really a village with a central meeting point for people to congregate. [Plainview Centre] is where people park their car, walk their dog, so there's a lot of foot traffic. They keep this shopping center looking nice and clean. If one place goes out, a week later they have a crew in there with a new concept, always leased out [fast]. Not too many empty storefronts here.
Looking back over the last year, we've seen a nice increase in sales. If we maintain the quality of food and keep things consistent here, I think the next year looks good.
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