Cuban Gypsy Pantry closed its downtown restaurant to focus on projects off the peninsula | File photo

Cuban Gypsy Pantry will not renew the lease at its downtown location, situated between King and Meeting streets at 141 Calhoun St. But nearby, the block will get an Alabama-based newcomer serving inventive doughnuts and midday comfort food. 

The pint-sized downtown Cuban Gypsy Pantry location, which had patio seating alongside the building, opened in 2016 when owners Chloe and Will Vivas turned their food truck into a brick-and-mortar destination. 

The couple cited high downtown rents as the main reason for choosing not to renew.

According to Chloe, they decided to, “close downtown in December so we (could) focus on our other locations.” 

The Summerville location, called Gypsy Parlor, opened last fall, while the North Charleston Cuban Gypsy Pantry is undergoing significant renovations after Chloe and Will decided to turn half of the 4,200-square-foot restaurant into an “incubator” featuring a rotating cast of concepts.

The first concept, an Italian eatery called Bar Za, was set to open on Jan. 22, but the project is delayed, Chloe told the City Paper Tuesday. 

Hero Doughnuts & Buns will open at 145 Calhoun St. later this year | File photo

“We have pushed back the Bar Za soft launch to keep building out the area inside of Gypsy, but will be hiring for staff ASAP,” she said. “We are shooting for early March.” 

Around that same time, Hero Doughnuts & Buns is expected to open at 145 Calhoun St., formerly home to a Panera Bread outpost. Once open, the Alabama-based shop, which has two Alabama locations and another in Atlanta, will serve doughnuts, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, nitro cold brew and more daily from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. 

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