Decatur’s new Waffle House, on North McDonough Street just south of the historic courthouse and beneath Eddie’s Attic, will open 7 a.m. Jan. 6. The 4,600 square-foot restaurant is located in an early 20th-century building originally home to Belk’s Department Store.
Though apparently forgotten, even by many longtime city staffers and residents, this isn’t the first Decatur Waffle House. The company’s fifth store opened in 1961 at 612 Church Street, about where a McDonald’s sign stands today (the current Las Brasas restaurant is 614 Church Street).
That original Decatur store didn’t feature the company’s distinctive architecture and exterior colors—perhaps one reason so few remember it—and closed in 1983 according to company spokes person Kelly Thrasher-Bruner.
Some veteran residents confuse Waffle House with a Toddle House that was opened by Joe Rogers Sr. in 1953 in what is today the Pinewood restaurant downtown. It wouldn’t be until Labor Day, 1955 that Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House in Avondale Estates.