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Pipo's Cuban Café launches its first food truck at Mastry's Brewing Co.

Teaming up to rebound out of the pandemic
Ramon Hernandez, owner of Pipo's (Left), and Matthew Dahm, owner of Mastry's Brewing Co. (Right)
Posted at 4:58 AM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 04:58:42-04

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — For any lover of food and drink, beer and delicious Latin street food are a match made in heaven.

Founded in 1979, Pipo's is a staple across the Tampa Bay Area. Yet, in its 40-year history, they've never opened a food truck.

"It's a totally different experience for us," Ramon Hernandez, owner of Pipo's, said. "I think I'm tending to like it a little better versus a brick and mortar just a lot less moving parts."

The pandemic forced Hernandez to close several brick-and-mortar restaurants across the Bay Area. Searching for a way to rebound from the pandemic, he was introduced to Matthew Dahm, the owner of Mastry's Brewing Co., and they had an instant connection.

"We are looking to expand, and definitely partnering with Matt is a no-brainer," Hernandez said.

The truck will be parked in front of Mastry's Brewing Co. at 7701 Blind Pass Rd in St. Pete Beach seven days a week.

Dahm told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska they were looking for a permanent food truck partner to team up with.

"The biggest thing for us is kind of reeducating our consumers that we are not just a brewery," Dahm said. "We don't rotate food trucks out, and that seven days a week, you can come out to us have a great meal, enjoy a good beer, and get the same great quality service day in and day out."

Pipo's is famous for its Cuban sandwiches. But the fresh-caught grouper sliders are gaining in popularity. And, they are battered using beer from Mastry's.

"It's an explosion of an experience of flavors," Dahm said.

Dahm founded the brewery in 2015 with just one barrel. Today, they have dozens of brews on tap.

"We really brew everything out here. So I kind of tease and poke and say we like to brew what we drink," Dahm said. "And we are non-biased about what we like to consume out here at Masters Brewing Co; it's really about good quality."