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  1. Business

Piquant owners close Hyde Park site but plan to keep baking those French pastries

TAMPA — Piquant restaurant in Hyde Park Villge has closed its doors after failing to reach an agreement on terms with the landlord, but if owners Ricardo Castro and Rosana Rivera have their way, you'll soon have even more chances to sample their elegant French pastries.

For one thing, they opened Petit Piquant last month at 1704 N. Howard Ave. and offer a variety of to-go fare, including Cuban sandwiches, specialty teas and of course, pastries.

For another, they aim to use the new location to begin wholesaling their baked goods and to offer catering.

The new location in Old West Tampa is perfect for morning commuters to make a quick stop, said spokeswoman Lesley Valentin.

It's equipped with high-end baking machinery found in large metropolitan areas like New York City and Los Angeles, Valentin said.

"Restaurants are buying from places like Orlando," she said. "Getting high end bread product from Tampa is huge."

It's a new concept but the owners are excited for the change.

Castro, with a background in baking, and Rivera, with a background in catering, are viewing the March 29 closing of the old restaurant as an opportunity to focus on their skills and to take on something new, Valentin said.

Piquant opened in 2012 at the South Rome and West Snow avenues. In a January lawsuit, the property managers, WS Asset Management, said Piquant Epicure & Cuisine owed about $323,000 in "unpaid license fees and other charges."

Still, Valentin said, they won't forget their customers in Hyde Park Village.

"One thing they kept saying was, 'We're just so happy, so grateful to be a part of the Hyde Park family," she said. "But things have to evolve and change."