Longtime winner of 'most romantic' restaurant being forced to move

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- After 17 years, Coup Des Tartes, a popular restaurant on 16th Street in Phoenix, is being forced to move.

It's been the winner as one of the Valley's most romantic dinner spots year after year and its French cuisine and atmosphere has six months to vacate the property.

"It's a home, it's our home," said owner Ron Pacioni. "It was a 1933 farmhouse. It was an artichoke and date farm back in the day."

The cozy Coup Des Tartes is also Phoenix's longest-running and most well-known B.Y.O.B. restaurant.

"There's been so many wonderful events, so many proposals and first dates and it just has a lot of history and to be dismissed with no thought is upsetting," Pacioni said.

In May, Pacioni's rented building and land were bought by the Van Tuyl Group. It was a foreclosure purchase of a 120,000-square-foot parcel of land that included the Coup Des Tartes building.

Pacioni said the company plans to use the land as an overflow parking lot for a car dealership.

"The law is the law, it's just not right, but Coup Des Tartes is a successful restaurant with an unbelievable team here and we will find a new home and it will be different, but it will still have the same people and same hospitality and same great food," said Pacioni, who is already looking for a new building.