Friday, June 11, 2021

Former Perkins (nee-Shoney's) - Winter Haven, FL


Perkins is a bit of a broken chain. You still see them around, and Wikipedia attests to over 200 locations, but it seems like they're dropping off more and more as the years go on.

and here in Winter Haven, FL, no more than a stone's throw outside Legoland, we meet one of those casualties.

While the condition of this sign made me think this was a recent, pandemic-induced closure, a little researching actually shows this location closed 2 years ago, as a result of their 2019 bankruptcy filing.

Now unfortunately for me, Perkins drew the curtains when they left, meaning it was impossible to photograph most of the interior. However, we can get a look at the front counter, complete with shining, empty display case and a "Fresh Baked" awning.

Shifting over a little bit, we get a look at some stacked chairs, the doors at the end of the counter, and a divider that marks the beginning of the seating area. While a lot of restaurants like this are a little dated, there's a definite nostalgia for them to me. I can hear the clink of plates, the swinging of those doors...

The windows are still emblazoned with a painted "GREAT PLATES FROM $4.99" special- in great shape for two years unmaintained. With it's location practically across the street from Legoland, I imagine a lot of it's business was families trying to squeeze in a meal before being forced to pay over-inflated theme park food prices.

We'll leave off on this photo, showing the labelscar-ridden road sign with construction fencing for Peppa Pig Land (yes really) behind it. With a location this close to parks, I expect something will take over this spot eventually, and that the pandemic was the only thing to keep it vacant this long.

EDIT: As per Retail Retell's astute observation in the comments, and a little bit of research to check, this location appears to have been built as a Shoney's originally. Some key remnants being the roofline on the side, and the sign frame, re-used by Perkins. It'll be interesting to see how these remnants get adapted once again in the future.

With that, this has been Cape Kennedy Retail.


  1. Do you think this location could once have been a Shoney's? The road sign looks exactly like their shape. The angle you took of the side of the building with the Great Plates window paint looks very Shoney's-esque, too.

  2. The Perkins in Davenport on US27 closed the same time this one did for the same reason. They were both corporate owned locations. There are still locations in Orlando on I Drive, on 192 in Kissimmee near Disney, 192 near Poinciana Parkway, and one on 535 near Disney however that location will be closing soon as part of the demolition of the Crossroads shopping center.