Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
September 4, 2008
Preserving the food served in America’s fast food restaurants has been easier than preserving the historic landmarks of the chains themselves. Some original restaurants have been turned into museums — sometimes even competing museums — while others have become museums that have gone out of business, and still others continue serving food to oblivious customers.
Now add one more item to that delicious menu: Waffle House Unit 1, which has been rescued from obscurity and reopened on September 3 as the Waffle House Museum.
Waffle House is a familiar yellow-and-black beacon of goodness along southern highways. Unit 1 is in Decatur, Georgia, and a lengthy article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells of its long journey: how it was sold in 1973 and has spent the last 20 years as a Chinese take-out restaurant — a crime of sorts, as the whole point of serving waffles was to make customers sit and eat at a counter.
The tiny eatery has now been restored to the way it looked when it opened on Labor Day 1955, or at least a good guess as to what it looked like, since no photos were taken at the time. “The two founders,” the article notes, “figured they’d open a few restaurants and then go fishing.” They figured wrong. The chain has expanded to almost 1,600 restaurants, and Unit 1000 is only a third of a mile up the road, which is where visitors should go if they get hungry since the food in the museum is inedible plastic.
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Waffle House Museum
- 2719 E. College Ave., Decatur, GA
- East edge of the city, on the south side of US Hwy 278/E. College Ave., a block east of its intersection with Arcadia Ave.
- W-Th by appt. Call at least 1 wk in advance. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
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