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Coming soon to Wellington: Horse manager to open Trophy Room restaurant and bar


Back when The Grille Fashion Cuisine was up and running in Wellington – partying into the wee hours – local businessman and horse manager Rob Gray was a big fan of the place. Now, weeks after the restaurant closed, he has the keys and a new plan for the space.

His new restaurant, expected to debut in October, will have an appropriately equestrian ring to it: The Trophy Room

Gray and his partners at the newly formed T & R Restaurant Group took over the lease held by Wellington’s Fashion Cuisine group (Oli’s, Don Chepo’s, Whitehorse). 

“We really are sticking to a similar concept – one that has great atmosphere, great overall feeling, an American-style menu,” Gray said Tuesday by phone from Holland, where he was traveling on horse-management business. 

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Part of the plan is to bring in a head chef with a fine dining background, he said. 

Once an acclaimed restaurant, The Grille was where a meat-loving chef named Clay Carnes commanded the kitchen before leaving to open a small Andean-American taco shop on West Palm’s Dixie corridor. 

“When Clay left, there was a change,” said Gray, noting the quality drop in The Grille’s kitchen. He says he hopes to bring a higher level of cooking to Trophy Room, “more like when Clay was involved and food was the focus.” 

That’s not to say the place won’t party as well. As part of the local scene, Gray, who is 26, aims to create a space that can segue from restaurant to late-night weekend bar and lounge. 

And while he knows the equestrian set is “a driving force” during the November to April season, Gray says he wants the restaurant to welcome locals in general. 

“My true goal is to create something that caters to the equestrians and the year-round local community,” he says. “The theme is equestrian-based, playing on the sports thing… but I don’t want to anyone to say it’s built to cater only to the equestrians.” 

The Trophy Room: Coming this fall to 12300 South Shore Blvd., Wellington


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