When Simone Tolley saw the opportunity to take over the restaurant in The Groves Golf and Country Club, she took it.
“When we first drove through, me and my husband thought to ourselves that the community clubhouse might be the best place to open a cute little quaint bistro,” says Tolley. “Golfers are awesome and we love the community!”
Being in the restaurant business is not new to Tolley. In fact, she’s been in the industry since she was 18 years old. Once she graduated from University of South Florida she pursued other ventures like owning her own marketing company and becoming a Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader. But, going back to her roots, she eventually opened up two restaurants and most recently opened her third here in Land O’Lakes.
Even though it’s in a gated community, Back 9 Bistro serves the public and offers American-style food like burgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads.
“We try to have a good variety to make everyone feel happy, so we offer a lot of side options too,” says Tolley. “We really want to try and give a comfort-food feel.”
The bistro has a full menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with a daily happy hour.
“Our most popular dish is definitely our club salad, but I personally love our burgers and sweet potato fries,” says Tolley.
One of the biggest draws to the clubhouse in The Groves is the event hall that’s attached to Back 9 Bistro.
“The event hall can hold up to 150 people,” says Tolley. “It’s perfect for weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, and so much more.”
All the community has to do to rent the space is reach out to Tolley herself and get the event approved by the clubhouse.
“We have the liquor license, so we can cater food and drinks,” says Tolley.
On a weekly basis, the bistro holds free public events that have become a staple for locals, including Tuesday Trivia Night and Thursday Karaoke.
Tolley teaches free line dancing on the first and fourth Wednesday of every month. On the second Wednesday of every month, the Bistro hosts bingo that the public can participate in.
“I’m very excited to be here and I’m very excited to see where we can take this restaurant,” says Tolley.
Tolley has lived in Land O’ Lakes for three years, residing with her husband, Mike, and her 8- year-old son, Blake.
If you’re interested in learning more about Back 9 Bistro go to thegrovesgolf.com/golf-at-the-groves/the-groves-grill/or visit their Facebook Page.
Published February 23, 2022
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