Simply in time for Tremendous Bowl 55, Tampa followers return to the Pop’n Sons Diner

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’s 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 Phoenix. 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 Phoenix.

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’m going to add things like chicken and waffles, we’re going to add our grill, we’re going to put a smoker here in front of 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.”

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