photo / Jarine Dotson

Daydreamers to Honor Veterans, Military, and First Responders

in news

Chris Wicks has lived in the U.S. for over 35 years. He opened Daydreamers Café & Grill almost two years ago and it didn’t take long for locals to adopt it as a favorite hangout for breakfast and lunch. Folks return for the food, but there is another factor that brings them back again and again: Wicks and the Daydreamers staff treat their customers like family.

“I’m very proud of my heritage, being from England, but I’m honored and blessed to be able to live here,” Wicks says. “I don’t take it for granted. This is a wonderful country and Safety Harbor is a wonderful town.”

Wicks is known to take a break from the kitchen to check on diners, often asking “Did you get enough to eat?”

Weekends are the busiest and he has never been open on a Monday. This Veterans Day, he wants to do something special for veterans, military personnel, and first responders. On Monday, November 11, he will open his doors and close the street. He will set up tables and chairs outside to accommodate what he hopes will be a huge turnout.  

“For all veterans, military personnel, and first responders, we’re going to offer our Good Morning Sunshine breakfast for free. It’s a way of saying thank you for your service. The breakfast includes sausage, bacon, eggs, potatoes, and toast, plus coffee or juice.”

He’s not sure how many will come out. The restaurant seats 28 inside and the outdoor patio seats 23, but by closing off the street he’s ready to serve hundreds of free breakfasts that day.

“We’d like to make this an annual occurrence,” he says. “It’s the military and the first responders who allow us to enjoy the life and freedoms we have.”

photo/ Jarine Dotson

Daydreamers will be open from 7 a.m. and will close at 11 a.m., so people can attend the Veterans Day memorial ceremony at the marina. The City of Safety Harbor, American Legion Post 238, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10093, will present a salute to all who have served and are currently serving our country.

If you want breakfast and you’re not a vet, in the military, or a first responder, Wicks will offer a Good Morning Sunshine breakfast for $10. And he wants first responders to know they’re welcome to grab their meal to go if they need to.  

Wicks is absorbing the cost of all the food. His employees are volunteering their time and there are many customers who will be there to help make it a successful event, such as like off-duty city employees, the Chamber of Commerce, artists and writers from SHAMc, as well as other community members. Kids from Safety Harbor Elementary School will be handing out thank you cards to those being honored throughout the morning.

“My goal is to serve five-hundred people in four hours,” he says.  “We’re all really looking forward to it.”

Note: Daydreamers is located at 143 7th Ave. N. Safety Harbor, FL 34695 / Veterans Memorial Park is located at 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor, FL 34695

Laura moved to this city in 2008 and immediately realized she had found Paradise! In an effort to meet creative people who also enjoyed writing, she founded Safety Harbor Writers & Poets in 2010. She has since facilitated open mic nights, classes, conferences and more. She is co-author of A Brief History of Safety Harbor, Florida, and editor-in-chief of ODET, a Florida-based literary journal named for Odet Philippe, who she believes, was the first known storyteller to call this town home. Currently serving as the secretary for the Whispering Souls African American Cemetery, and as a museum board member, she plans to share local history, biographies, and more through her Safety Harbor Sun contributions. She can be reached by email at safetyharborhistory@gmail.com.

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