L'Olivier Cabaret struggles in Ybor; Oasis Bistro sold to pizza specialist from southern France

the poor economy to Tampa's conservative nature. "I think Tampa was the wrong city for it, maybe its too conservative," says Cuevas. "I know L'Olivier Cabaret in Miami, LA, New York, or even Atlanta would be a real success." Then again, people keep complaining about the $8 cover for the cabaret's nightly shows, as well.

Still Cuevas is full of optimism, and still has a passion for what he's doing: "I have a smile every night when I see the show, when I push my little buttons for the lights and sounds. It's so, so rewarding to me. Sometimes it's a private pleasure, haha!"

Cuevas also recently sold his other restaurant -- Oasis Bistro (formerly L'Olivier Bistro) -- which had briefly been a joint venture with Sidney Sakho of the defunct Ybor eatery The Nest. According to Cuevas, new owner Marc Letous will keep the French bistro entrees, but replace the crepes with fresh pasta and "real, real, real south of France-northern Italy pizza, the most amazing, amazing pizza." That change is scheduled to happen by the end of December.

Stay tuned for more news about that, and L'Olivier Cabaret.

Rumors started circulating this week that Ybor's retro-glam cabaret, lounge and crepe joint — L'Olivier Cabaret — might be closing. Not so, according to co-owner Olivier Cuevas.

"We have had to shrink the hours, to only open on the weekend," said Cuevas. "We survived the summer and we thought that everyone would start to go out and start spending more ... not at all. October and November were the worst two months we've had." Cuevas and his partner plan to meet with their banks and financial advisors next week to come up with a plan that will allow the restaurant and showplace to stay in business.

For Cuevas, the reasons for the decline in business range from

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