Robin Wening hit a home run when Iris's Grill closed in January.
New owner Cindy Phillips set out to completely transform and refurbish the Douglas Avenue eatery, right down to its name, and offered the public a chance to come up with its new identity for a $200 prize.
Wening, of Palm Harbor, said she saw the contest in a story on Dunedin Patch and drove over to the restaurant to submit her idea. When she hadn't heard anything for a while, she decided to drive by and was shocked to see her "Home Plate" in big black block letters above the trademark roadside sign.
She's been a regular customer ever since.
"When I stopped in the other day, Cindy, the owner, told one of the customers in there that I'd 'named the joint!'" Wening wrote in an email. "And, I am so happy and proud that I DID! Just wait til' baseball season gets rollin' — they will be busy, busy, busy — I'm sure!"
Home Plate on the Trail, named for its proximity to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, is open in plenty of time for the Toronto Blue Jays' Spring Training season home opener against the Baltimore Orioles Feb. 24.
The restaurant's layout remains the same, but the renovated interior features a fresh paint job, re-upholstered booth seating, new flooring and lighting and, of course, a completely different menu.
The breakfast menu features various types of pancakes, Southern-style grits, fresh fruit, omelets, and eggs made almost any way with all the extras one might expect.
Lunch features build-your-own salad options, quesadillas, homemade soups, and signature burgers and sandwiches.
"I have already eaten there twice during their soft opening (breakfast and a lunch), and it was great," Wening said. "You MUST go and try their multi-grain with pumpkin seed pancakes!"
Want to Go?
- Where: 234 Douglas Ave
- Contact: 727-953-9812
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