TAMPA, Florida – Just in time for the Super Bowl, a Tampa staple that was shut down during the pandemic is preparing to make a comeback.
Pop’n Sons on the North Dale Mabry Highway was family-owned for more than 40 years until the coronavirus forced its closure.
Now the retro-style restaurant is getting a modern facelift under a new owner.
“We’re getting a restaurant that is 45 years old and I don’t think we could have a better opportunity to serve this community than to do this,” said new owner Richard Hales.
Hales has built a successful culinary career in Miami. Hales was even featured in the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”.
Hales’ Grateful Hospitality Group operates Society BBQ and Blackbrick Chinese in Miami.
The Tampa native is ready to add a touch of South Florida to an old favorite.
“I just fell in love with the story and we’re going to keep the theme of a diner,” Hales said. “I’ll add things like chicken and waffles, we’ll add our grill, we’ll put a smoker right outside the restaurant.”
Grilling won’t be a big sale as Tampa welcomes legions of Kansas City soccer fans to Super Bowl 55.
Pop’n Sons is less than 1 mile from Raymond James Stadium.
“Former owner Jerry was thrilled to pass the torch on,” said Jenny Hales. “He has full faith in Richard and I think he knows we will carry the legacy but will also put our own little twist on it.”