Suzanne and Roger Perry, the indefatigable owners of Datz and Dough in Tampa, have announced a third restaurant to join their lineup.
When Wimauma closed at 4205 S MacDill Ave. in May, the Perrys expressed interest in the space but St. Croix Plaza owner John Zambito wasn't ready to rent.
"This new project happened almost overnight. We drove by the other day randomly on our way to get yogurt and saw the for-lease sign," said Suzanne Perry. They signed the lease and hashed out plans for a renovation to the plaza with Zambito. Roux is scheduled to open this summer, taking up the space that was Wimauma as well as the dentist's office next door.
"We needed that square footage to get a full liquor license. We will be expanding the bar," she said. The food, she says, will be "Creole/Cajun-inspired cuisine but with Florida products." The name "roux" conjures that flour and butter thickener that starts so many Cajun dishes, but it also alludes to dishes that hail from Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga., and environs.
Lunchtime at Roux will be speedy (po-boy and muffaletta sandwiches), something Suzanne says has been difficult to do at Datz, whereas dinnertime will be white-tablecloth fancy. She heads to New Orleans with son, Matt, this weekend for culinary inspiration, but she has firm ideas about the decor.
"I'm envisioning deep reds, but no Mardi Gras or Bourbon Street stuff. There won't be masks on the walls and I told Roger, 'no naked women.' "