Love where you live!
JACKSON DRIVE -- A little non-descript neighborhood diner just north of La Mesa on Jackson Drive is about to go national.
The Trails Neighborhood Eatery has been selected for the Food Network's makeover show, Restaurant: Impossible. The diner, a sort of homecooking little place in a strip plaza, will close on July 11 and be worked over by restaurant expert Robert Irvine who will have 48 hours and $10,000 to reinvigorate an establishment that has been underachieving with its traditional approach to things.
On the evening of July 12, the restaurant will have a grand re-opening. The entire process, from closure to re-opening will be filmed for an episode on the popular cable network. Local residents can make a reservation for that evening by calling 619-667-2233. That night will be filmed as part of the show.
Stacey Poon-Kinney, the restaurants peripatetic 33-year-old owner, said the restaurant is adored by its regular customers, but she needs to find ways to attract more and different customers. Turning her place over to Irvine (pictured right), she admits, is a bit of a challenge.
"I'm a bit of a control freak,'' Poon-Kinney said. "I may have a bit of trouble taking orders.''
Still, Poon-Kinney said she's hoping the drama of the quick makeover will make it easier for her dedicated customers to deal with change.
Poon-Kinney said she inherited much of the menu when she and her father -- whom she describes as a "not so quiet partner'' -- bought the restaurant five years ago. She described it as heavy on the "comfort'' foods and she's got some ideas she'd like to pursue to add a bit more character to the place.
Poon-Kinney is a former volleyball coach and dancer turned restaurateur. She is following a family tradition in the business.
She lives in Spring Valley with her two children and her husband, the artist who paints under the name Saratoga Sake.
A non-stop marketer, Poon-Kinney is suggesting local residents visit prior to July 11th so they can come back after the makeover and have experienced the "before and after.''
The restaurant is located at 7389 Jackson Drive, just up the hill from Mission Trails Regional Park. It is in the San Carlos part of San Diego, but draws many customers from La Mesa's northside neighborhoods as well.