It's a bustling Friday evening on Main Street Lakewood Ranch and the scene at Grove is vibrant. People are congregated around the expansive square bar, an iconic gathering place for regulars or those just visiting. A space on the patio is the place to be and diners wait patiently, enjoying a handcrafted cocktail from the bar menu. There are all types of people coexisting, from young families to singles looking to mingle. There is a toast of wine glasses between a couple looking as if they are enjoying a first date. The floor staff circulates attentively, monitoring available tables and maintaining an atmosphere of harmony. No one is looking to rush. Everyone seems to know everyone else.
The energy is palpable; you can see it in the massive space that Grove boasts. You can smell it in the symphony of notes wafting through the air. Hugh Miller and Greg Campbell, the minds behind Bradenton’s Pier 22, brought this vision to life with their clean, modern decor and timeless appeal. The huge windows blur the lines between indoors and outdoors, leading to the outdoor patio that places you in the mix of Main St energy. Your neighborhood hangout is also a secret hideaway where you can sip your drink next to a roaring firepit. And whether you're out for an exciting Friday night or a leisurely brunch on Saturday or Sunday, The Grove's got the vibe that makes every moment feel special.
Their menu is as expansive as the space itself, evolving from small plates when first opening, to a more neighborhood style restaurant, with favorites like maple salmon or the ahi tuna nachos - which is a product of their fresh, never frozen, whole fish. Beyond dinner, there are distinct offerings for lunch, happy hour, late-night options, Sunday brunch, and their newest Bar Bites. This 6 of $6 menu was created to compliment the already popular crafted cocktails. Sip on the fan favorite, "Ranch Water" with its fresh combination of grapefruit vodka and lime juice. Or enjoy the "Tree Nymph’", with its colorful fruit cubes - a standout blend of Grainger's Vodka, Prosecco, domain de canton and house made sour. The beer selection showcases local favorites from breweries such as Motorworks in Bradenton or Calusa in Sarasota. Naturally, something savory pairs well with these beverages, like the delectable smoked brisket potato skins or lobster Mac and cheese bites.
Beyond the impressive menu is a history of family-run business and a spirit of serving up more than just great food. They're dishing out support to local charities and forming partnerships with non-profits that are making a difference. From teaming up with Empath Tidewell Hospice for Thanksgiving meals that warm the heart, to ensuring seniors get their delicious fix through Meals on Wheels. They're turning good eats into great deeds.
For 5 years, Grove has made it simple. The experience begins and ends with great food. There is nothing too complex, because their mindset is to not overcomplicate a great dish. From the ambiance to the menu, Grove takes quality ingredients and flavors and creates a meal and an experience that can be enjoyed over and over again.