Hometown Heroes in Grinnell

I recently had the chance to check out Hometown Heroes, a relatively new sports grill in Grinnell. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was driving thru the downtown area of Grinnell, Iowa. I’ve always had the Prairie Canary restaurant on my list of places to visit. Since I was in the area, I decided to drive by and didn’t even check the hours. Unfortunately, they were closed. However, just a block away was a new place named “Hometown Heroes”. Note: this visit was not sponsored in any way, opinions are my own.

Location: 908 Main Street, Grinnell, Iowa 50112

How was the food? the service?

The service was great. We had missed lunch that day and it wasn’t yet supper time, so our family refers to this as “lupper”. And lupper usually means you have the place to yourself, so service is typically pretty good for the lupper crowd. The menu was exactly what you’d expect for a sports grill, but we did love the spin on the names. Fumblerooski, the “Blitz”, MVP, All-Stater.

Be sure to check out their Facebook page, as they frequently run a 5 fo r$35 deal. You get an appetizer and 4 entrees for $35.

My wife and I each ordered the build a burger – which is a really great deal. For $9, you get an Angus burger with all the traditional toppings AND you get to pick 3 additional toppings. My wife then picked cheese curds for the side, while I picked french fries

My son ordered the Triple Threat – an Angus burger and a spicy chicken breast along with bacon and fried egg. The description says it’s the “whole barnyard on a bun”.

What’s the interior like at Hometown Heroes?

The interior is very clean, well lit, and has a ton of TVs (again, what you would expect for a sports bar). The bar is in the front and the dining is in the back.

No shortage of TVs at Hometown Heros in Grinnell.

Who are the Hometown Heroes?

This was the best surprise during the visit – how they address the label of Hometown Heros. Of course, it’s a sports bar – you expect to see photos and memorabilia of local players who made it to the professional ranks, maybe even some who made it to prominent college. And you will see that.

However, you’ll be please that their definition of a hero is much broader. In the back of the restaurant is a wall dedicated to fallen veterans and first responders – a really nice touch to add to the hero theme.

As for the sports hero theme, you’ll find that their definition covers all scenarios. For example, near the front door, you’ll be treated to a wall of small portraits photos of the “current” heroes. It contains all of the college athletes from any school in the county. Doesn’t matter if you are division 1 or a community college. Also doesn’t matter if you play football, golf, or are on the dance team. It’s a really nice tribute that covers all student-athletes and it looks like it takes time and effort to keep it up to date. But I’m sure the local families very much appreciate it.

Beyond the entry, the walls are still filled with various local heroes who went on to play significant roles at the college or professional level. However, you’ll also see individuals related to boxing, sprint car drivers, and even those involved in music (again, another nice to be inclusive of local heroes).

I was one vs a bazillion against Lance Elliott

Lance Elliot winning the 1600m state title in 1989.

As I checked out the framed photos on the wall, there was one photo that caught my attention: A photo of Lance Elliott, a Montezuma 1989 grad. I immediately recognized the photo – it’s the 1989 state track meet at Drake Stadium and he’s crossing the finish line in first place in the 1600m run. I remember that event really well, as I was just outside the frame of the photo. But I wasn’t in the race. I was in other events, but I remember watching this entire race. Everyone knew Lance was going to win. Only a question of by how much. I was just to the right of the photo, watching him cross the finish line. I ran against Lance numerous times in high school and I could never catch him. At least not in high school.

A few years into college, I missed running. So I tried out for and earned a walk-on spot with the University of Northern Iowa. Of course, in college, I continued to get beat by Lance. However, I do remember one track meet, where I did finish right in front of Lance. I don’t actually remember much of the race itself, but I remember the look of excitement from my college coach when he saw me after the race. He knew what I had just done. Even if I was one vs a bazillion against Lance, it was my one.

Did I miss Micheal Hudnutt?

As I continue to scan the walls… there was one local name that I was looking for and I didn’t find it. (I could be wrong – so please correct me if he is on the wall and I missed it). I was expecting to see Michael Hudnutt, a 1989 Grinnell graduate who played offensive line for the University of Northern Iowa. Michael and his roommate Kurt Warner lived right across the hall from me during my sophomore year in Sherman Hall. I think Mike is now a high school football coach in Arizona and I was hoping to see his place on the wall.

Note: This is not a sponsored post, Hometown Heroes did not sponsor the post in any way. For more information on Iowa Road Trip posts, visit our Privacy Page.

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One Comment

  1. Brian,
    Thanks for the glowing review. My husband and I own Hometown Heroes, and I appreciate your recognition of all of our efforts. Mike Hudnut is on our wall. The picture is located on the wall to the right of the bar in the front of the restaurant. He was one year ahead of me in school, so I made sure not to miss him. We also own Prairie Canary, so hopefully we are open for you on your next trip through Grinnell.
    Sincerely, Kalyn Durr