By: Victoria Mekus
Communications Strategist at Hunt Marketing
Oxford, Mississippi - Oxford residents Griffin and Molly Tanner are excited to announce the opening of their new restaurant, Southern Craft Stove + Tap, featuring Executive Chef Bubba Gross.
The restaurant places an emphasis on food and atmosphere, mixing the quality of fine dining with a “come as you are” environment. It includes a playground, banquet room, a bar, seated dining, catering and an ever-shaded patio.
“We want to create a place where everyone feels comfortable eating, without compromising quality food for a family-friendly environment” says Griffin Tanner. “The kids can play on the playground, mom can have a couple of appetizers and a nice glass of wine and dad can have a burger with a craft beer. We are excited to offer that demographic something new.”
But Southern Craft Stove + Tap is more than just a family-friendly restaurant. Award-winning chef Bubba Gross brings an original menu based on his love of Southern cuisine and local ingredients to the table.
“I’ve been passionate about creating recipes since I was a young kid,” says Gross, a classically-trained chef. “I enjoy putting my stamp on things and making people happy. This concept is great. You don’t have to make plans, just get up and go and experience a menu that can suit anyone.”
Apart from a specially crafted menu and an all-encompassing dining atmosphere, Southern Craft Stove + Tap is also “getting crafty” in the beverage department. The restaurant will offer over 30 beers on tap, 12 craft cocktails, 40 assorted liquors and 20 choices of wine, including 4 wines on tap.
As Oxford residents and long-time professionals in the local food and beverage scene, Tanner and Gross started as competitors in college over 10 years ago when Tanner managed Pearl Street Pasta and Gross managed and cooked at Downtown Grille.
After graduating from the ACE program at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Gross returned to Oxford to open a restaurant called The Windsor. Around the same time, Tanner had returned from managing several restaurants in San Luis Obispo, California and returned to Oxford to partner in The Levee, soon after opening The Cellar and The Round Table.
“When we both returned to Oxford, we had this common struggle of figuring out how to make a business work in Oxford,” says Tanner. “We constantly talked about it and eventually our passion became our friendship.”
Thus, competition turned into an alliance. After years of calling each other for business advice and forging a personal relationship, the two officially decided to establish a formal partnership and open Southern Craft Stove + Tap.
“From an ownership standpoint, you always want to build the strongest team you can”, says Tanner. “Bubba is a phenomenal chef, but he’s also very good with people. We have a lot of the same values.”
Gross refers to Tanner as “forward-thinking” with an uncanny ability to not only adapt to situations, but to maximize and take advantage of opportunities.
Southern Craft is officially open for business. Kitchen hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bar hours reflect Oxford’s legal operational hours for alcohol.