Once popular waffle restaurant to reopen in Lawrence

Finding me after a plate of waffles is easy. Follow the sticky trail to the couch and I’ll likely be in nap mode with my syrupy whiskers stuck to the vinyl slip cover. But finding a plate full of waffles from the sporadic restaurant The Waffle Iron can be difficult. The restaurant has been in pop-up mode for about two years, but it now has a deal for a kind of permanent space.

Sam Donnell, owner of The Waffle Iron, said he has struck a deal to locate in the former Hank Charcuterie spot at 1900 Massachusetts. Yes, Hank has closed as of May 20. The last plans I’d heard, via the KC magazine Pitch, is that chef Vaughn Good was planning to open a restaurant called Fox and Pearl in Kansas City’s Westside Neighborhood.

Donnell has been a good customer of Hank Charcuterie over the years, and he struck a deal with Good to take over the space at least through the summer. Donnell said The Waffle Iron is set to open on June 9 and will be open on Saturdays and Sundays every weekend through July.

“I think they are still trying to figure out what to do with the space, sell it or lease it or whatever,” Donnell said. “They said this might be fun, and I agreed.”

photo by: Richard Gwin

This file photo from February 2015 shows an offering from The Waffle Iron at its old location inside Decade coffee shop.

I’ve written about The Waffle Iron a couple of times in the past. It got its start serving upscale waffles on the weekends at Decade coffee shop in East Lawrence in 2015. The waffles were popular enough that Donnell felt he had outgrown the coffee shop space, and later that year worked out a deal to go in the upper floor space above John Brown Underground (the space now occupied by Wake the Dead).

For whatever reason, that deal didn’t last long. By March 2016 the restaurant had lost it lease, and since that point Donnell said The Waffle Iron has been a bit nomadic. It operated as a pop-up restaurant in a couple of Kansas City and Overland Park coffee shops and occasionally served at PT’s Coffee in Lawrence and the Caribbean restaurant and bar Lucia in downtown Lawrence.

But now The Waffle Iron won’t have to share space with anyone, and Donnell said he’s looking forward to it.

“I’m also looking forward to having a bit more of a kitchen so I can broaden the menu a little bit,” Donnell said.

As far as the food goes, continue to look for waffles to be the dominant fare. Donnell said he’s still finalizing menu details, but in the past he has made three types of waffles: yeast, gluten-free and buttermilk. He then has offered all types of toppings, including your traditional fruit type of toppings, plus more elaborate offerings like lavender honey, jasmine whipped cream, toasted coconut meringue and a concoction that involves brown sugar, maple syrup and bacon butter. He also offers an eggs Benedict dish using waffles.

But with a bigger kitchen, he plans to have some down-home breakfast offerings that would cause “your grandpa to come in and be really happy.” (My grandpa ate a thing of shredded wheat approximately the size of a hay bale, but I get the sentiment.)

“I’ve got the foo-foo thing down, and now I want to try to round out the menu,” Donnell said. “I want to see what a more well-rounded Waffle Iron menu will look like.”

Expect hours for the new eatery to be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.


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