Popular French bistro to close following minimum wages hikes

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A popular valley restaurant is closing up shop, saying the increase in minimum wage and new labor laws was too much to afford. 

Coup des Tartes has been serving French cuisine for the last 22 years. This month will be its last. 

[RELATED: Arizona hikes minimum wage by 50 cents]

"Coup des Tartes is an institution here and we've celebrated many thousand of anniversaries, birthdays, everything," said owner Ron Pacioni. 

Pacioni was forced to relocate the bistro from a previous spot in 2015. Still recovering from the cost of the move, he says the minimum wage hike and new labor laws tipped his budget over the edge. 

As of the new year, Arizona's minimum wage went up to $10.50. It'll increase gradually until it hits $12 in 2020. 

[RELATED: Thousands of AZ minimum wage workers worry they will lose their pay raises]

"It's the paid leave and all those other items going into effect. It just puts a strain on a struggling restaurant," said Pacioni. 

He says business has been steady, but that's still not enough to keep the doors open here. 

"Restaurants work on such small margins, so anything that tips that scale is going to hurt the bottom line." 

[RELATED: Student workers not part of minimum wage increase]

Rather than cut quality to save costs, Pacioni decided to close the doors for good. The restaurant's last day will be Jan. 31.

"It's terribly sad but it is what it is," said Pacioni, thanking his customers for years of patronage.

[RELATED: Arizona unemployment rises to 4.5 percent in December]

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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