Ybor City’s 7th and Grove is expanding to the waterfront — here’s everything you need to know


In the short year and a half since its 2019 opening, 7th and Grove has quickly become one of Ybor City’s hottest new restaurant destinations. Boasting over 20,000 social media followers, the Cajun-inspired spot attracts brunch and dinner guests with the promise of being, “a culturally immersive space that nourishes the soul and nurtures the spirit.” And when I say attracts guests, I don’t mean a few families and regulars—I mean hordes of dedicated fans eager to get their comfort food fix.

With such a large restaurant following, foodies hoping to join 7th and Grove for a Saturday night meal have historically needed reservations. While that system still exists, and probably will for a while, the team has just broken some exciting news for hopeful diners: they are expanding. 

That’s right—as of winter 2021, you will have double the opportunity to snag a table (and some collard green egg rolls) at this southern-style cult favorite. 

Pinch yourself shrimp and grits lovers, you’re not dreaming.

Bringing soul food to Sparkman’s Wharf

Taking over the Sparkman Wharf kiosk of former Vietnamese spot, BT in a Box, 7th and Grove’s second space will look a bit different than their current nightclub reminiscent digs. The new food court location will offer an abbreviated menu of the restaurant’s best-sellers in a super chill, al-fresco dining area. For visitors, that essentially means 3 things: a trendy vibe, sweeping waterfront views, and full permission to show up in sweatpants.

Yesterday, in efforts to get psyched for the Grove’s upcoming expansion, I stopped in to their flagship restaurant for a tasting of their current offerings. If you haven’t been in yet, here’s everything you need to know about the menu:

  • Taking Southern cuisine to the next-level, 7th and Grove serves elevated classics, such as gouda mac and cheese, and innovative new plates, like braised oxtail over grits.
  • The meats are cooked perfectly. Whether enjoying a Kansas Strip at Ybor (which is topped with a sunny side-up egg), or a handheld sandwich at Sparkman, you can guarantee that the protein will be tender and flavorful.
  • Dishes are constantly being added and upgraded to keep offerings up to date. In fact, they recently launched “Crush on You”—a pasta dish featuring jerk chicken, shrimp, and collard greens in a creole-seasoned cream sauce—and it’s probably the best entrée on the menu.
  • The fries are ridiculous.
  • You must order the fries.

Raise a (fruity) glass

After a vibrant, nourishing meal at 7th and Grove, I was ready to raise a glass to their success. Luckily for me, I had a “Triple Layer Sangria” and a “Tequila Breeze” at my disposal.

Both glasses in the air, I said a toast the restaurant’s expansion, eagerly welcoming the continued proliferation of soul through Tampa’s heart.

Those planning to visit 7th and Grove’s flagship location can do so at  1930 E 7th Ave. To stay up to date with the Sparkman’s expansion, or make a reservation, diners can call the restaurant at (813) 649-8422, or visit https://www.7thandgrove.com/.

Kara VanDooijeweert is a current journalism student at Rutgers University. If you can't find her in the Bay's best restaurants, she's probably off exploring the wilderness. Catch her on instagram, @karanicolev.