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Coalville diner closes doors after almost 40 years

Denise Pace, owner of Denise's Home Plate, stands behind her register Jan. 17, 2024.
Courtesy Ranae Bangerter Bell
Denise Pace, owner of Denise's Home Plate, stands behind her register Jan. 17, 2024.

After more than three decades, a beloved diner in Coalville is closing its doors.

At Denise’s Home Plate on Main Street, owner Denise Pace said the last day of business, Jan. 18, was “complete chaos” as locals rushed to enjoy their favorites one final time.

Pace has been in the restaurant business for 38 years. She got her start cooking as an 8-year-old, making daily meals to feed her father’s crew of hay workers in the summers. As an adult, she’s cooked for hotel catering events, meals for the incarcerated, for the homebound, for the elderly, big wedding parties, and, of course, her customers at Denise’s Home Plate.

With all those meals, she’s amassed a loyal crowd of fans over the years.

“A couple of weeks ago when we decided we were going to close, my niece Shianne… put it out online to see what everybody’s favorite specials were,” Pace said. “So we’ve had those the last three weeks – we’ve had everybody’s favorite specials.”

She said she decided to close so she could enjoy more time with her husband, who retired a few years ago.

“I’ve given it everything I’ve had for 38 years,” she said. “It’s time for us to have some time together.”

Her niece, Shianne Ramos, has worked with Pace at the restaurant for 14 years. She said the restaurant’s atmosphere is something special.

“It’s been a home to me,” she said, choking up. “She’s my second mom… She’s just one of the most giving, wonderful people that you’ll ever meet in your life.”

She said the community cares deeply about the restaurant and turned out in force for the last day. They had baked more desserts than usual and still sold out.

Pace said she wants to thank the Coalville community for supporting her restaurant for almost 40 years.

“This is an incredible community to live in,” she said. “I was born and raised here, and I’m sure I’ll die here. It’s my love.”

Now, she and her husband will enjoy their retirement – and Pace will relearn how to cook just for two.