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La Setima, a new natural wine bar, coming soon to Ybor City

The bar and restaurant from the team behind Jug & Bottle Dept. will highlight minimal intervention wines and a plant-based menu.
Ryan Fouche, Aaron Schaub and Coral Carrasquillo will soon open La Setima, a new natural wine bar on the corner of E Seventh and Nebraska avenues in Ybor City.
Ryan Fouche, Aaron Schaub and Coral Carrasquillo will soon open La Setima, a new natural wine bar on the corner of E Seventh and Nebraska avenues in Ybor City. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Nov. 10|Updated Nov. 15

TAMPA — Vintage frames line a faded patina backdrop while heavy velvet curtains offer a taste of midnight, even in the middle of the day. Dark wood and exposed brick lend a speakeasy vibe, as antique light fixtures and a collection of salvaged artwork hang throughout.

The space could evoke New Orleans, Savannah or Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. But this is Tampa, on the edge of Ybor City.

La Setima, a new wine bar and restaurant from the team behind Jug & Bottle Dept., will open in the coming weeks at 1724 N Nebraska Ave. Though the name and decor offer a nostalgic nod to the neighborhood’s past, the menu and overall theme point to the future.

Minimal or low intervention wines and a plant-based menu will be the highlight at La Setima. The bar is named after the neighborhood’s historic — and sometimes controversial — street signs, where the Spanish word for “seventh”, “septima,” was replicated without the “p” (a nod to the local colloquialism, born of the neighborhood’s melting pot of Spanish, Cuban and Italian immigrants).

When it opens, La Setima will be one of the first bars in Tampa to focus exclusively on natural wines, joining spots like Bayou Bodega, on Davis Islands, and CellarMasters and In Between Days in St. Petersburg as the latest business to jump on the burgeoning trend.

La Setima, a new natural wine bar, occupies the corner building at 1724 N Nebraska Ave.
La Setima, a new natural wine bar, occupies the corner building at 1724 N Nebraska Ave. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Owners Aaron Schaub, Coral Carrasquillo and Ryan Fouche are veterans of the local hospitality industry. Fouche and Schaub are partners at Jug & Bottle Dept., a popular craft beer and wine shop in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood. Carrasquillo worked at Cigar City Brewing Co. before joining Schaub and Fouche at Jug & Bottle, where she started the shop’s wine subscription bottle service.

The idea for the new bar was hatched after the team noticed a significant shift in what wine drinkers were asking for and an increased interest in natural, or “natty,” wines.

Related: Natural wine is having a moment in Tampa Bay

Though difficult to define, natural wines are typically wines made with minimal human intervention: grapes that are grown organically without pesticides, without additives like lab-produced yeasts, and with little-to-no sulfur derivatives. While the natural wine scene in the Tampa Bay area is still young, the trend has caught on with so much fervor nationally that the once quirky and obscure bottles are now mainstream.

Ryan Fouche, who is also a co-owner at Jug & Bottle Dept., pours a glass of wine at La Setima. Minimal intervention, or "natural," wines are the focus here.
Ryan Fouche, who is also a co-owner at Jug & Bottle Dept., pours a glass of wine at La Setima. Minimal intervention, or "natural," wines are the focus here. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
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Fans of the wines know them when they see them: bottles with eye-catching artwork and colorful labels, bubbly pet-nats and skin-contact varieties, or “orange” wines. But there are plenty of producers making minimal intervention wines that have never labeled or advertised themselves as such, and drinkers can have a hard time differentiating between bottles. Breaking down those barriers, and approaching wine education with a less stuffy, more approachable demeanor, is all part of the plan at La Setima.

“We wanted to demystify wine for people,” Carrasquillo said. “We wanted wine for people like us.”

To start, the bar will feature roughly 12 wines by the bottle and six to eight by the glass. Carrasquillo said they will expand the list as the business grows. Because of the limited availability and stock of certain harder-to-source wines, the menu is expected to rotate often.

The bar underwent significant renovations and features faded patina walls, exposed brick and salvaged vintage artwork throughout the space.
The bar underwent significant renovations and features faded patina walls, exposed brick and salvaged vintage artwork throughout the space. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Opening a bar in Ybor wasn’t always the plan, but the trio now say the neighborhood is a perfect fit for their business.

“Growing up in Tampa, I’ve always loved the history of Ybor City,” Carrasquillo said.

While the area has had its ups and downs over the years, the team is banking on the latest round of revitalization attempts to pave the way for the neighborhood’s future. They envision La Setima as part of that effort — a place where people can pop by for a drink and a snack before a show, perhaps, or drop in later at night to split a bottle of wine with friends.

The bar, which occupies a tall white building on the corner of E Seventh and Nebraska avenues, sat vacant for several years before the group signed their lease in April 2021. The team consulted with Tampa-based interior design firm Ann Cox Design when decorating the spot, and the space features a hodgepodge of artwork and furniture salvaged from local vintage stores and swapping sites like Craigslist.

Carrasquillo, whose family is from Puerto Rico, said a lot of the inspiration for the decor came from visiting dive bars there.

“We wanted it dark and mysterious, but still warm,” she said.

The roughly 1,200-square-foot space seats approximately 45 people and is outfitted with cozy armchairs and booths lining one wall and a bar facing the other. The long, lacquered bar was made with wood from a set of 1950s schoolhouse doors, and the original Ybor street sign, reading “La Sétima,” serves as a focal point directly behind.

Owners Ryan Fouche, Coral Carrasquillo and Aaron Schaub hatched the idea for their new wine bar, La Setima, while working at Jug & Bottle Dept. in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood.
Owners Ryan Fouche, Coral Carrasquillo and Aaron Schaub hatched the idea for their new wine bar, La Setima, while working at Jug & Bottle Dept. in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Executive chef David Lamb, who spent years working in kitchens in New Orleans, will be overseeing the food program. Guests can expect a menu of “Southern-focused, plant-based,” dishes, said Fouche, who is also a partner at 3 Dot Dash, the fast-casual vegan comfort food restaurant inside Jug & Bottle Dept. Though both menus are vegan, the dishes at La Setima will be more elevated, Fouche said.

Related: Tampa Bay is experiencing a vegan renaissance

While the menu is still being finalized, there will likely be snacks like boiled peanuts, pickled vegetables, boudin balls served with remoulade and plant-based lump crab cakes.

Once open, La Setima will serve food and wine 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Sunday.

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