When Roger and Suzanne Perry put in a bid to buy Kalupa’s Bakery, the owners of Datz restaurant next door had extra parking in mind for their space-impaired south Tampa eatery on MacDill Avenue.
Parking has always been the biggest complaint for their customers. Those who dared to park at Kalupa’s and sneak into Datz risked being towed.
“We didn’t want a bakery,” Suzanne Perry said. “We needed more room.”
But four months after buying the neighborhood institution, they’re about to open a stylish bakery cafe with about 20 additional parking spots.
On Monday, the Perrys will launch Dough, a whimsical extension of the already mirthful menu of Datz. With its painted-sky dining room ceiling, red chandeliers and pastries topped with bacon strips, the decor and menu mix fun with sophistication.
In the morning, doughnuts with breakfast cereal and bacon on top are the highlights. At lunch, salads and bistro-size sandwiches are emphasized. In the afternoon, the cafe intends to satisfy after-school snack attacks with cookies and gelato. At night, boozy milkshakes and William Dean chocolates are intended to draw customers who have an after-dinner sweet tooth.
Dough, 2602 South Macdill Ave, is the second high-profile pastry-themed restaurant to open in South Tampa. In January, Ricardo Castro and Rosana Rivera introduced the French-flavored Piquant in Hyde Park Village.
In addition to the parking relief, creating Dough was done as a way to bake fresh bread for Datz, which spends $15,000 monthly on sandwich bread alone.
“We’ve always wanted to do our own bread but we never had the space,” Roger Perry said.
The Perrys kept the bakery intact when they realized that weekday mornings were the only time parking at Datz wasn’t an issue. Unlike the sit-down restaurant, they decided to create a place that would provide-grab-and-go breakfasts during the week and a spot for weekend breakfast customers to wait for a table.
Pastry chef Alex Flannery was hired in February from The Refinery to create a playful menu that will include retro-comfort food like hand pies, Sno-Ball-like marshmallow pastries, and “bacon and egg” crullers filled with egg custard and topped with maple icing and a strip of bacon.
For more refined palates, there are French gateaus, profiteroles and opera cakes as well as smaller petit fours and tarts and bite-size passion fruit marshmallows enrobed in chocolate. Playing with sweet and savory, doughnut flavors include caramel with curry glaze, white chocolate macadamia nut and rose with lavender cake doughnuts.
“Tampa doesn’t need another plain glazed doughnut,” Roger Perry said. “All the top chefs are putting doughnuts on their dinner menus.”
To reach the light-eating lunch segment, savory chef Jeff Nowry added such items as walnut chicken salad with maple corn shortbread and raspberry pomegranate chutney. For sit-down breakfast, there is a “Cheddar melt” of English muffin with white cheddar, fresh tomato, a slice of Benton’s bacon and tomato bacon jam.
“We made this place so we could go after those things that we don’t have at Datz,” Suzanne Perry said. ‘We can do so many things here that wouldn’t work at the other restaurant.”
The official grand opening will take place with an April 21 benefit for the Children’s Cancer Center, but on Monday at 10 a.m., the restaurant will give away a $500 gift card Willy Wonka style. The customer who bites into the one Whoopie pie filled with golden cream wins the prize.