By Joshua Foster-Storch
Seminole Heights. It is a neighborhood in North Tampa that is a few minutes away from campus and yet not a lot of students visit it. It is where I and my four roommates live and just at the end of our block, was a store that has been voted the best burger in Tampa three straight years. And that would be Thee Burger Spot. Thee Burger Spot has been in business now for seven years and is jointly owned by husband and wife duo Joe and Tivona Hill. Joe used to live in Tampa and met Tivona in Alaska where Joe worked at a local burger place. Joe then asked Tivona to come with him to open up a burger joint back in Tampa. Now, they have put it all together and run one of the best burger places in the entire city.
In talking to Tivona, she said, “I think it’s definitely a great burger at a reasonable price. I think we’re not trying to overcharge for our food. I mean we definitely give you the best value for the price and it is truly a great burger”. Thee Burger Spot charges people anywhere from $4.75 to 10.50 for any of their burgers and I would say that is more than reasonable considering how good they are.
Thee Burger Spot also has not only been favorable towards customers, but also towards competitors. Especially during COVID-19 as many small businesses struggle to this day. “… Seminole Heights has been great to us. When COVID-19 struck, the restaurants and the community really banded together and did our part to help the local restaurants out and also to get word of mouth out about each other… [Seminole Heights] it’s kind of a really tight knit restaurant community” said Tivona.
After I talked with Tivona I talked with some of her employees as well to gauge their thoughts on the value of Thee Burger Spot. “[Joe] told me he was opening a spot that had started taking off so I hopped on board” said Aaron Hill. Aaron is a friendly and familiar face to any customer who walks into Burger Spot as you can almost always catch him taking your order at the register. He is also the brother of Joe Hill and brother-in-law to Tivona. The Hill’s have built this business on family. “It is really great to be able to go into work every day and be able to see a familiar face” said Juan Vaughn, a family friend of the Hills.
This burger place is a great place for the community of Seminole Heights and the Black community at large and it is something that they take serious pride in. Being proud of your heritage is something that should be shared by everyone but not something to gloat about. You can be proud and modest at once. “We are extremely proud of being black owned business… It’s not really something that we promote… when George Floyd passed away it kind of opened everyone’s eyes to be more involved with black owned businesses” said Tivona.
Thee Burger Spot is a hidden gem in Tampa that, from talking to UT students, is not very known by the UT community. Thee Burger Spot is quite honestly the best burger I have ever had and I hope that many more customers go there in the near future.