New Southern cuisine restaurant 7th+Grove will open next month in Ybor

The concept is aimed to feed Tampa Bay creatives' minds, souls and stomachs.

(L to R): Dr. Vondalyn Crawford, Dr. Jamaris Glenn, and Khalilaa McDuffie are ready to launch their southern cuisine concept in Ybor in the coming weeks. - PHOTO COURTESY OF 7TH+GROVE
(L to R): Dr. Vondalyn Crawford, Dr. Jamaris Glenn, and Khalilaa McDuffie are ready to launch their southern cuisine concept in Ybor in the coming weeks.

Next month, Ybor will welcome a southern cuisine restaurant, 7th+Grove, located at 1930 E. 7th Avenue.

The space previously hosted weddings and events, which means it’ll be very spacious for hungry new customers. 

Partners Dr. Vondalyn Crawford, Dr. Jamaris Glenn, and Khalilaa McDuffie noticed a lack of southern offerings in Tampa Bay, and are hankering to foot the bill.

Prior to opening the eatery, Glenn had several other popular platforms that combine his passions.

Choosing the location was a simple decision for them. They wanted to place the concept in an area that openly welcomes inclusivity and diversity. Ybor proved to be their perfect match.

“We love the rich culture that’s here and they’re very welcoming of every one of different nationalities and sexual orientations,” Glenn explains. 

A few names were thrown around but when they found the 9,400-square-foot space in Ybor City, they knew they had to incorporate the historic district in the name somehow with a little help from the Big Apple. 

“We played with a couple of names like ‘The Garden’ but that felt like somewhere your Grandma goes. This sounds unlike Tampa, but we wanted the name to have a New York feel to it,” he explains. 

The Grove’s motto is “Eat. Vibe. Flourish,” serving as an incubator for creatives figuratively but also a place for social gatherings. Lush greenery and succulents cover the space, from the walls to the tables. Murals by Carlos Pons Paz of Paz Art Studios provide the backdrops for future Instagram posts. 

The trio partnered with Chef James Roberts to come up with a rich menu.

“There are hints of the Carolinas, Louisiana, and Georgia. We wanted to encompass all of those in the foods we make,” says Glenn.

The menu is made up of dishes like Collard Green Cigarillos — in which braised greens are rolled and fried (can’t go to Ybor and not get some kind of cigar) — Pimento Cheese Fritters, Shrimp and Grits, and the Afro-Cuban sandwich. Brunch offerings include decadent plates like fried chicken and french toast. 

D.C. mixologist Kelvin Williams is in charge of the cocktail menu, incorporating fresh juices and infusions. 

Plates between $11-$35. After 11 p.m., customers can order off the “Swing Menu,” which includes appetizers and tapas. The Grove will kick off solely offering dinner and weekend brunch service.

The debut is scheduled for late July. A grand opening with live music, a comedy hour, pre-fixe menus, and the opportunity to meet muralist Carlos Pons Paz is also on the agenda.

Once the doors open, 7th+Grove's hours will be Tuesday through Friday 4 p.m.- 3 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-3 a.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 

Glenn says he and his counterparts just want to make the city of Tampa proud. 

“I think the sky is the limit for 7th+Grove. We want to open more spaces like this that integrate more philanthropic work. Our goal is to enrich the community and provide more spaces for creatives,” Glenn says. 

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