Advertisement
  1. Arts & Entertainment

Tampa’s 7th + Grove Bar brings the party to Ybor City

With Southern cuisine, strong cocktails and DJ-led events, the club and restaurant lives up to its motto: “Eat. Vibe. Flourish.” | Bar review
7th + Grove is split into two discrete spaces. The corner space is a bright and upbeat restaurant. Next door is the club. [Courtesy of Ashley Canay and Ashley Meyer]
Published Oct. 10
Updated Oct. 10

“What’s that line all about?” I asked my wife as we ate dinner at Ybor’s Stone Soup Company before heading to a show next door at the Orpheum.

Across the street, a line had formed around the corner of a large green building that I’d never noticed before. Over the course of our meal, the line repeatedly dissipated and filled up again, with a steady stream of folks coming in and out of the place.

I jotted down the name — 7th + Grove — and its tagline of Eat. Vibe. Flourish. I had to know what all the commotion was about.

I learned that 7th + Grove is a brand new entry on 7th Avenue, created by three friends and business partners — Dr. Vondalyn Crawford, Dr. Jamaris Glenn and Khalilaa McDuffie — who teamed up with Washington, D.C., bartender Kelvin Williams-Bacon to create a cocktail menu to accompany its kitchen’s modern Southern fare.

On the day I first noticed it, 7th + Grove was buzzing in the midst of one of its Sunday “day parties,” a 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. event featuring DJs and food and drink specials in a sunlit club filled with colorful murals, hanging ivy and private tables with bottle service (and, most importantly, bottomless mimosas).

Ybor isn’t starved for club environments or cocktail lounges, but once I returned and saw 7th + Grove from the inside, I found a truly fresh entry: a bright, vibrant space that didn’t feel overtly clubby, despite the big sound system and second-level DJ balcony.

7th + Grove is split into two discrete spaces. The corner space is a bright and upbeat restaurant, focusing on a menu of modern Southern cuisine created by Chef James Roberts. Next door is the club: an open space with a long bar, sofas and tables, huge murals from Carlos Pon Paz and a wall of padded booths nestled underneath a second-level balcony overlooking the main seating area.

I dove straight into the cocktail list, six entries made up of fresh-squeezed juices, house-made syrups and colorful garnishes.

I went with the Jungle Wildflower, a heady concoction containing dark rum; orange and cherry liqueurs; ginger, pineapple, lime and lemon juices; and Kool-Aid grenadine, of all things. It’s served in a mason jar with thick orange and lime wheels, as well as a little purple flower.

The Solidago is a simple, but fantastic, bourbon cocktail. [GENEVA JOHNSON | Geneva Johnson]

I dabbled some more, sampling the Solidago (a simple but fantastic bourbon drink that also employs Kool-Aid grenadine) as well as an off-menu beer cocktail, containing Corona, tequila and a few splashes of fresh juices and syrups.

The menu’s promise of “boozy, hand crafted and fresh” cocktails held up. These drinks are strong.

While 7th + Grove is a great spot for cocktails at night, it really shines as a late-afternoon destination, as demonstrated by the popularity of its GRNHAUS Sunday day parties. That’s where you’ll be in unlimited mimosa territory: $20, but the catch is that it’s only good for 90 minutes.

The good news is that there are plenty of other cheap drink specials, and there’s no cover. Throw in a DJ spinning old school hip hop and R&B and you’ve got a clear explanation for those Sunday lines. Ybor has been missing a place like this, and 7th + Grove truly delivers.

jg@saintbeat.com. Follow @WordsWithJG.


7th + Grove

1930 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City, 33605. (813) 602-0960. 7thandgrove.com

The vibe: An ivy- and flower-filled club and lounge with an upbeat Southern kitchen.

Food: Small plates, sides and salads, $5-$12; entrées, $15–$23; desserts, $7.

Booze: Beer, wine and liquor. Beer, $5–7; wine, $7 by the glass; signature cocktails: $9-12. Happy hour: 2-for-1 house margaritas. Wine Down Wednesday: $17 Endless Wine and Sangrias.

Specialty: The cocktails are “boozy, hand crafted and fresh,” according to the menu, and that’s not just ad copy. Everything but the booze itself is made in-house, from the orgeat and cinnamon-grilled pineapple syrup used in the Drunken Marigold, to the Kool-Aid grenadine used in the Solidago and the Jungle Wildflower.

Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday; 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday-Tuesday.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Alison Krauss will perform at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 20. Capitol Records
    The Clearwater Jazz Holiday returns with a strong music lineup, Zac Brown Band plays Tampa and Barry Bostwick will be here to screen ‘Rocky Horror.'
  2. Festival goers move through the midway during the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church's annual Ethnic Festival. This year's festival will be Oct. 17-20 at the church on Spring Hill Drive at Coronado Drive. Tampa Bay Times | 2010
    The 28th-annual Ethnic Festival returns to St. Joan of Arc.
  3. On Sunday, Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    Wayne Brady performs at the Mahaffey, St. Petersburg hosts the UpDog Triple Crown Challenge and Taking Back Sunday stops by Jannus Live.
  4. Nghtmre performs at the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa on May 26, 2018. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  5. Trebek made clear he plans to continue working as a host. [Associated Press]
    The longtime Jeopardy! host announced a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March, then remission in May, but now says tumors are worse than ever.
  6. Jill Ciment. Courtesy of Arnold Mesches
    The story of jurors on a Florida murder trial takes some wicked twists.
  7. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County, premieres in November. Courtesy of MTV
    MTV released a teaser trailer for its hit reality series filmed in Pinellas. Here’s a first look at what happened in St. Petersburg.
  8. J.B. Smoove will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Saturday. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    J.B. Smoove takes the Straz Center stage, plus Roboticon Tampa Bay at the Yuengling Center and the St. Pete Side Lot hosts the Guerilla Art Market.
  9. Author Susan Isaacs' new novel is "Takes One to Know One." Linda Nutter
    ‘Takes One to Know One’ follows an ex-FBI agent uncovering hidden identity and crime in an upscale suburb.
  10. Florida Literary Legend Craig Pittman at work on the Ichetucknee River in 1999. Times (1999)
    His five books about the state and award-winning environmental reporting for the Times earned him the title.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement