ST JOHNS, Fla. — (Note: The video above was originally published in 2019.)
A First Coast restaurant known for its decadent, dessert-style waffles and traditional, hearty diner fare is opening a new location this month in St. Johns County.
Grumpy's Restaurant is setting up shop at The Fountains at St. Johns, with a grand opening date set for Monday, Aug. 16, from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The expansion comes after the restaurant saw success at its original Orange Park location and its first franchised location in Middleburg.
The restaurant will also host two charitable soft opening events on Friday, Aug. 13 and and Saturday, Aug. 14. The invite- and RSVP-only events will allow guests to donate $12 per adult and $6 per child to enjoy their favorite meal and drink, with 100% of the proceeds going to Nease High School and the First Coast YMCA.
The restaurant made headlines during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many restaurants were struggling to keep their doors open and staff members paid during to-go only mandates. Founder and CEO Daniel DeLeon donated his own salary in order to keep his workers paid.
The restaurant also donated hundreds of meals to hospital workers, firefighters, police officers and grocery store employees to thank them for their work during COVID-19.
That dedication to serving the community is part of what drew local owners Justin and Leah Milliken to franchise the new St. Johns County location.
“Living in Northeast Florida, we have gotten to know Grumpy’s very well. It’s our family’s favorite restaurant,” Leah Milliken said in a news release. “We love the atmosphere, food, and culture. This is a great opportunity for us to build a local staple in St. Johns County where families and friends can come together over great diner food."
The new location will also provide more than 40 jobs to people in the local community, Milliken said.
The Americana diner serves high quality comfort food, Southern hospitality-infused breakfast, lunch and brunch with dishes ranging from sandwiches, homemade soups and salads to signature coffee, fresh-squeeze juices, homemade hot chocolate and desserts. Grumpy's has won several awards over the years, including Jacksonville's "Best Overall Restaurant" by our news partners, the Florida Times-Union.
Grumpy's is also looking to expand into new locations in Mandarin, Fruit Cove, Ortega, Southside, Beaches, Amelia Island and St. Augustine, the release says.
The new restaurant is located at 155 Fountains Way, St. Johns, Florida 32259. For more information, email TheFountains@GrumpysRestaurantCo.com.