La Sétima Club, a new natural wine bar and plant-based kitchen, will finally open its doors on Wednesday, Nov. 23 after many months of permit and pandemic-related delays. The roughly 1,200 square-foot lounge at 1724 N Nebraska Ave. is a highly-stylized meld of mid-century adornments, salvaged art and antique lamps—which carefully dangle over its custom bar made of 70 year-old doors, of course.
That vintage couch that you sold on Facebook marketplace last year? Well you might end up sitting on it when La Sétima makes its long-awaited debut next week.
That's where proprietors tell Creative Loafing Tampa Bay about their plans for their new corner bar.
She’s known Fouche and Schaub for a few years now through Tampa’s craft beer scene, but really started building a relationship with them during 2020’s pandemic, the same time that her love and passion for natural wine really grew.
She worked at Tampa’s Independent Bar & Cafe before COVID, but started picking up shifts at Jug + Bottle for extra cash.
“I stayed at Jug + Bottle after the pandemic because I got to the point where I felt comfortable being the wine buyer there.” Carrasquillo tells CL. “I started their monthly wine club, too.”
It was then that the idea for a natural wine bar first came into fruition. But what initially started as a dive bar-like space evolved into a highly-curated lounge.The space came before the idea, in a way, as the trio found the future La Sétima before all of the business details were established. Carrasquillo says that they had their eyes on Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights, wanting to “focus on neighborhoods that we’re familiar with and the community that we’re already in.”
In one of the La Sétima’s bathrooms, a poster of popular drag queens Trixie Mattel and Katya is cradled in a vintage frame, representing the ultra-curated “old-meets-new” vibe of this new Ybor City wine bar. At first glance, La Sétima feels like an aged lounge with worn-in stools and years of acquired memories—but that’s exactly the ambiance its team has worked over a year to perfectly capture. “We wanted it to feel like it’s always been here,” Fouche adds.
After next week’s debut, La Sétima Club will offer a rotating menu of natural wines— from pét-nats ("pétillant naturel" if you’re French, “naturally sparkling” for the Americans) to chillable reds and orange wines. Don’t be alarmed by the sedentary bits floating at the bottom of your bottle, either, as these wines let the ancient process of fermentation be the true star. Although there’s no uniform definition of the term “natural” or “low intervention” wine, they mostly contain organic ingredients, lack additives, and are created using traditional (and simple) processes.
When asked about La Sétima’s beer options, both Carrasquillo and Fouche turned to Schaub, who is evidently the trio’s “beer guy.” Even though they’re pretty far from our original concept as a dive bar, guests will still be able to wash their pét-nats down with a clear bottle of Miller High Life, in addition to a small, rotating selection of local brews on tap.
A curated, all-vegan menu will surely complement La Sétima’s spread of natty wines, local craft beers and different N/A options—and will consist of shareable small plates from Chef David Lamb. Lamb, with culinary roots in New Orleans, will dish out “elevated bar food” like boiled peanuts, boudin balls and pickles. The plant-based shrimp po’ boys that he served at a pop-up a few months ago might even make their way onto La Sétima’s menu.
“A while ago we went to Philly and wound up eating at dive bars most of the time, and every single one—even the shittiest bar—had a lot of vegan options. So I think that was kind of the inspiration for our menu.” says Fouche, a longtime vegan and partner of Seminole Heights’ 3 Dot Dash. “Our original concept was supposed to be a dive bar, but obviously that’s not how it turned out.”
Fouche, Schaub and Carrasquillo have been paying La Sétima’s rent since April of 2021, almost completely draining their remaining opening budget. “It knocked us back at least six months,” Fouche says.
At the end of the day, they recommend that other small business owners just shell out the cash to hire a lawyer upfront instead of navigating the complicated world of city permitting themselves.
After next week’s soft opening, Ybor City’s newest natty wine bar will be tentatively open from 5 p.m.-midnight Wednesday-Sunday, and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Carrasquillo says that it may stay open later on the weekends—and that lunch hours could be on the way—once the new business transitions out of its soft opening phase. La Sétima will be closed on Thanksgiving, but will re-open the next day for its debut weekend.
For the latest news on this new natty wine bar and plant-based kitchen, head to @lasetimaclub on Instagram.