Despite their reliably good coffee I gave up on Pastry Art a few years ago for two reasons. The first reason was the unreasonably surly service provided by (non-proprietor) staff. Absent the owner, the alternatively coiffed and decorated attendants varied from grudging to outright combative.

The second reason concerned Sarasota’s merry band of stinking, aggressive street bums. Taking one’s coffee outdoors meant preparing for a visual, nasal and/or verbal assault should one of these gruesome creatures sit close. And sit close they did, attempting to cadge money by intimidation.

On the insistence of a colleague, I recently returned. Happily, the service is acceptable, and the panhandler problem appears to have evaporated. Whether that has any connection with the rent-a-cop lurking about that part of Main is open to conjecture, but in three visits I have yet to be harassed.

The coffee remains excellent.