You could throw a dart at a map of St. Petersburg, and chances are, it would land on one of Hunger Thirst Groups’ seven (soon to be eight, but we’ll get into that) restaurants + bar concepts.
We sat down with HTG CEO, Tampa native, and current Burg resident Stephen Schrutt to ask a few burning questions: his advice for new business owners, what he’d tell his younger self, about his time working with the Rays, and the future of his latest project Summer Camp St. Pete.
Here’s what he had to say.
Q: Let’s say you’re looking to start a business, or already own one, but it’s not picking up just yet, here in TBAY. What mentality do you need to move forward?
A: I’d say you gotta find passion in what you do. Because, at the end of the day, it leads to the success of our lives and the greater good of what we’re doing. If you enjoy your work, it makes you more successful.
You have to keep trying things to see what you like and what works versus what doesn’t.”
He told us that when he comes up with the idea for a new place, each meal has to be consistent, the experience has to be unlike anywhere else, and it has to be “much more than just an Instagram picture.”
Q: What would you tell your younger self?
A: “I would say, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff.’ As a business owner and a creative, it’s hard to understand that everything can’t be perfect. There’s beauty in the mess-ups.”
Historic Gas Plant District updates + Ballpark & Rec
Right now, the restaurant sits inside Tropicana Field, which sees ~17,800 fans per home game, per Ballpark Digest. Pro tip: If you’re going to a Rays game, the spot is perfect for getting in a seventh-inning stretch round of giant cup pong.
Q: What happens to Ballpark & Rec once they start building the new Rays stadium?
A: “Things have been great with the Rays. I love being there, and I hope Ballpark is a part of it.”
What’s coming next
Stephen’s newest spot Summer Camp St. Pete (2060 1st Ave. S., St Pete), will draw a lot of inspiration from those nostalgic sleep-away camp summers in the great outdoors."The bar and restaurant will have an outdoor stage for live music, custom-made tents, and campfires.
Q: When can we expect Summer Camp to open?
A: “We hope to open by the end of the season, but I don’t want to give a hard date just yet because we’re still far out, and anything could happen. It would be cool to be open for Halloween.”
HTG’s dining + drinking hacks:
- The Avenue DTSP: Burgers are half-off on Wednesdays
- No Vacancy: Sundays are $20 for unlimited mimosas from 12-3 p.m.