When Kevin and Karyn Kruszewski moved to Tampa in 1997 to open their
business, they envisioned a bakery patterned after Boston's Clear Flour.
Thirteen years later, they are expanding their current space at 3225
South MacDill Avenue to accommodate a bar, lounge and private dining
area for their Tampa restaurant, Pane Rustica Bakery and Cafe.
The couple acquired 2,300 square feet when the
business next door downsized its space. About 1,000 square feet will be a
bar/lounge area and 1,000 will be for private dining," says Kevin.
"We're adding a total of about 100 seats," adds Karen.
The target for opening the new space is June. "With
construction, it's a moving target," Karyn says.
The Kruszewskis say the expansion allows more versatility for
"The two spaces will work really well together," says Karyn. "The space
can be closed and used for private dining or be opened to the existing
dining area to address overflow," Kevin adds.
explains that the additional space will have flat panel televisions
that surround the room for business-lunch PowerPoint presentations or to
catch the latest weekend college game. "But by no means do we want to
become a sports bar," Kevin says. "After researching a lot of other high
end restaurants with the same demographic as us, we found that it's
nice to have the option. We're also really big on lighting and sound, so
lighting will be a big element, too."
to the Kruszewskis, versatility has always been a hallmark of their
business. "When we opened in July 1999, I thought we'd be a bakery, but
everyone wanted their bread sliced," Kevin says. "And they liked the
pastries, but they wanted sandwiches. Sandwiches led to salads, salads
led to pizza, which led to all the other changes in the menu
I like to call it culinary Darwinism."
Sources: Kevin and Karyn Kruszewski, Pane