Make us your home page

Pepin Restaurant has a suitor; Hooters says it isn't the one

The landmark Spanish restaurant at 4125 Fourth St. N started in 1974 and continues to be operated by the daughter of the founders.


The landmark Spanish restaurant at 4125 Fourth St. N started in 1974 and continues to be operated by the daughter of the founders.

ST. PETERSBURG — An offer has been made on Pepin, the landmark restaurant at 4125 Fourth St. N. While the owners are considering selling, they say they don't have plans for a sudden closing.

"This is not going to be a quick departure. The city means too much to us," said Monique Massaro, who runs the restaurant her parents started in 1974.

"My father always said if somebody is going to offer us the right price, we are always for sale," she added. "Someone made us an offer. We're just waiting to see how things may pan out. … Things are being considered on both ends."

While some customers have heard that Hooters wants to buy Pepin, Massaro said she doesn't yet know who made the offer. About a month ago a broker approached her and her husband but did not name the party that is interested in buying the restaurant.

"That is a rumor," Hooters president Neil Kiefer said through a spokeswoman. He added that the company, which originated in Clearwater, has not purchased Pepin and did not comment further.

A mainstay for anniversaries, prom dates, banquets and business lunches, Pepin is perhaps the best known Spanish restaurant in Pinellas County. Its specialties include pompano that is baked while it's encased in salt and then filleted tableside. Another trademark is its house salad with green olives, tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese.

Pepin employs about 25 people. "We want to approach this in a good way and let our staff know and have plenty of time," Massaro said.

Hooters has a restaurant at 10400 Roosevelt Blvd. If it were to open in the Pepin location, it would be about 20 blocks from WingHouse Bar & Grill.

Contact Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at (727) 893-8785 or

Pepin Restaurant has a suitor; Hooters says it isn't the one 12/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 18, 2010 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  5. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.