It's been 23 months since Coup des Tartes owner Ron Pacioni found out his 18-year-old restaurant would be torn down to make room for a car dealership parking lot. It's been 21 months since he found a new at 1725 East Osborn Road to move into. And it's been eight months since the restaurant closed its doors at 4626 North 16th Street to prepare to move.
And though that might sound like a long timeline to you, for Pacioni the past two years have been "a consistent rush."
"To have to do something of this magnitude off the cuff was . . . a struggle," Pacioni says.
The good news -- for him and for the restaurant's many fans -- is that the saga is finally coming to an end. On Friday, May 1 Coup des Tartes will reopen in a renovated historic home at 1725 E. Osborn Road, about three miles from the original location.
The new restaurant takes over a 1922 duplex that was converted into an office building (and received an addition) in the 1970s. The original buildings consist of about 2,500-square-feet, to which Pacioni built a 2,500-square-foot addition. The additional space means Coup des Tartes can now seat up to 60 diners inside, as opposed to the 40 people the old restaurant could accommodate.
As with the old spot, the new Coup des Tartes offers "residential style" dining, meaning the restaurant consists of five separate dining rooms of varying sizes as opposed to one large dining space.
When it came to designing the restaurant, Pacioni says he wanted to preserve as much of the building's history as possible.
"We were very much into recycling and reusing," Pacioni says.
In the rooms that made up the 1922 house, you'll find the original hardwood floor still intact. (Two other dining rooms have carpet, which Pacioni left intact in order to dampen noise.) Many of the rooms also feature their original fireplaces, and in an effort to bring some of the old into the new, Pacioni repurposed some of the hardwood floor from the old Coup des Tartes into a bar top. The wooden bar back used to sit inside a Bill Johnson's Big Apple restaurant; Pacioni purchased it at an auction and retrofitted it to the Coup des Tartes bar.
The existence of a bar may be the biggest change for customers that used to frequent the well-known BYOB restaurant. And for those who always wanted to be able to order a cocktail with their dinner, the change will be a good one.
Pacioni, however, wanted to give his old BYOB fans a way to continue bringing their own wines to dinner. So he created a Coup des Tartes wine club. For $45 a year, diners can continue bring their own wines to the restaurant (so long as its not a bottle that's currently on the wine list). The corkage fee is $12.
Pacioni also says the wine club will offer members educational opportunities, wine dinners, and the opportunity to take trips to Napa and France.
The new Coup des Tartes also includes an event space, called Rendezvous, and an outdoor wedding venue complete with an elevated stage. Pacioni hopes to add herb gardens and beehives for honey on site in the future.
As far as the food and service, most of the staff has returned from the old location -- an impressive feat considering the extended closure. The menu will feature the same style of French cuisine customers have come to love, but Pacioni says there will be some changes including offering handmade pastas.
In the end, Pacioni says the move has given him space to expand Coup des Tartes in a way he never thought possible in the former space.
"I turned lemons into a lemon tart," he says.
Coup des Tartes will reopen for dinner service on May 1 at 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Call 602-212-1082 or visit the Coup des Tartes website.
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Editor's Note: This post has been changed from its original version.