Middleburg, FL

Grumpy’s restaurant in Middleburg announces plans to reopen

Don Johnson

Grumpy’s restaurant, one of Middleburg’s most popular eateries, has plans to reopen in November, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

The post says: “Things are starting to get ramped up and contracting on Grumpy's Middleburg has started! We are looking at a mid to late November opening and we can’t wait to serve our community again. Thanks everyone for being patient with us.”

The restaurant was damaged by fire in January and has faced delays in reopening. Earlier this year, the reopening date had been set for October.

The Middleburg diner, which opened in October 2020 at 1805 Blanding Blvd. was Grumpy’s first franchise restaurant. The original Grumpy’s is located in Orange Park.

The Middleburg restaurant is co-owned by Dell Hoard Sr., his wife, Peggy, their son, Dell Jr., and his wife, Courtney.

Daniel DeLeon, president and CEO of Grumpy's Restaurant, said in an earlier interview the building will be the same size. The former restaurant had a seating capacity of about 112.

“Everything will be the same,” he said.

He said they had hoped to salvage some of the building, but there was too much damage. “It is unbelievable how much soot can ruin everything,” DeLeon added.

Grumpy’s has received numerous awards for its made-to-order homestyle breakfast and lunch and has several locations in Northeast Florida.

No one was hurt in the fire on Jan. 19 at the restaurant. The restaurant had been closed for about four hours when an employee at a nearby business smelled smoke and called the fire department.

The fire started in the restaurant’s back prep room. A floor fan used by the cleaning crew to dry the floor caught on fire 14 minutes after the crew left the building.

DeLeon and his wife, Morgan, bought the flagship Grumpy's Restaurant in Orange Park in 2017. They now offer franchises of the restaurant.

A U.S. Navy cook, known as Chef Grumpy, opened the first Grumpy’s restaurant in 1999. The restaurant serves American and Southern food, including seafood. The restaurant promotes its cranky-looking chef logo and is known as the "Home of the Bad Mood Dude." The restaurants serve breakfast and lunch.

Grumpy's restaurant in Middleburg announces reopening date.Photo via GoFundMe

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Veteran journalist with experience in website and newspaper content as an editor and writer. I have worked as a reporter at newspapers and websites in Florida, California and Arkansas. I am a former executive editor at the Tampa Bay Business Journal and worked for 12 years at The Tampa Tribune as an enterprise editor and business editor. At Patch.com, I produced stories for 24 websites in the Tampa Bay area and also edited content for websites in six states.


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