RiverGrille Restaurant, 950 North US Highway 1, Ormond Beach, Florida

950 North US Highway 1   |   Ormond Beach   |  386.615.2004  

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The Fascinating History of the RiverGrille Locale

The Fascinating History of the RiverGrille Locale, Tomoka RiverThe remarkable pristine location of the RiverGrille Restaurant possesses significant historical interest. Prior to Florida becoming a British colony and the arrival of the first settlers, the Timucuan Indians were native to the region. In 1766, the British government gave a 20,000 acre land grant to Richard Oswald who developed the property into Mount Oswald, a rice and indigo plantation, also known as Oswald’s Ferry Crossing Plantation. Early settlers of the Ormond area gathered here to meet travelers at the Tomoka River ferry crossing, which became well-known as Buckhead Bluff.

While under British occupation, The King’s Road, Florida’s first highway, was constructed and ran from St. Mary’s, Georgia to New Smyrna Beach, Florida, crossing the Tomoka River at this location.

When the British left in 1785, the plantation fell into ruin. In the early 1800’s, it prospered anew when James and George Anderson came to Ormond as benefactors of Spanish land grants. The Andersons resettled the same land that had been the British plantation of earlier times, Mount Oswald.

Ormond Beach HotelSpain was in possession of Florida from 1783 to 1821 when it became a United States Territory.

Florida experienced a boom in tourism after the Civil War. With its hard, white beach, Ormond became popular for the wealthy seeking relief from northern winters. The St. Johns & Halifax Railroad arrived in 1886, and the first bridge across the Halifax River was created in 1887. John Anderson and James Downing Price opened the Ormond Hotel on January 1, 1888. Henry Flagler bought the hotel in 1890 and expanded it to accommodate 600 guests. Tomoka River Cruises

The hotel had a fleet of Stanly Steamer Touring Cars which were used to take guests from the hotel on local tours and picnics. The route they took crossed the "Lost Causeway" and went to the Tomoka Landing near where the RiverGrille is now located. From Tomoka Landing, they took the hotel guests on "Jungle Cruises" along the Tomoka River in steamboats.

The creation of the RiverGrille and its expansive decks and docks was designed to recall the original Florida feel of the bluff and its river vistas. We invite you to come and enjoy a true Floridian destination that enchants with its natural beauty and bountiful wildlife and is steeped in historical relevance.

RiverGrille Gives Back To Our Community

The neighbors and guests that we’ve met through the years have been a source of inspiration, education and motivation for us. In return, we extend the experience of warmth and caring beyond our restaurant walls and into the community where we live and serve. Our employees make the most of their time by volunteering for food and blood drives, adoption programs and fundraising walks and runs.

RiverGrille collaborates with many community organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Halifax Urban Ministries, Hospice and Temple Beth-El to name just a few. We partner with the people who dine with us, live in our neighborhoods and affect our lives through outreach programs, special events, volunteerism and contributions.


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