UNION — A restaurant chain whose doors are always open has plans to bring 24-hour-a-day dining to Union by 2014.
Jeff Cole, vice president of Real Estate for Waffle House, Inc., said Monday that the Norcross, Ga.-based chain, which already operates approximately 1,700 restaurants in 25 states, is looking at opening 70 new restaurants across its service area. One of those restaurants will be in Union in front of Wal Mart. Cole said the company’s decision to locate one of its new restaurants in Union grew out of suggestions from the management of some its other restaurants in the Upstate.
“We’re excited, we think Union is a good place for us to be,” Cole said. “Our local operators in Greenville and Spartanburg have been asking us to look at Union for several years. We’ve been looking at Union for several years and waiting for the right location.
“We are under contract to buy a site in front of Wal Mart,” he said. “Now we are in the due diligence phase. We’re trying to get permits, trying to draw up plans, trying to make it work. Waffle House looks forward to becoming a part of the community in Union.”
Cole said that assuming everything goes well, the restaurant will be open for business in early 2014.
When the restaurant opens it doors, Union County residents, tourists, travelers and other visitors to the community will have the opportunity to dine there any time of the day on any day of the year.
“We’re open 24/7/365,” Cole said. “We never close.”
Cole said the restaurant’s menu will feature a wide selection of items for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“For breakfast we have eggs, waffles, hash browns, omletes, bacon, and sausage,” Cole said. “For lunch we have angus burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches. For dinner we’ve got pork chops, t-bone steaks and ribeye steaks. They are all on the menu and you can order what you want anytime you want.”
To prepare and serve those menu items the restaurant will initially employ 40-50 people, but Cole said that could change depending on the amount of business it does. Cole said that when ground is broken for the restaurant, the company will have a representative on-site or nearby with job applications.
For more information about job opportunities with Waffle House and/or for more information about the company go to www.wafflehouse.com.
The new of Waffle House’s plans to open a restaurant in Union was welcomed by local development and government leaders including Torance Inman, executive director of the Union County of Chamber. Inman said that the chamber has had conversations with Waffle House over the years about bringing a restaurant to Union. He said he’s also heard from a number of people who say they want one here.
“We had been communicating with Waffle House for a number of years and they have been here and conducted a job fair several years ago in hopes to bring a restaurant to Union,” Inman said. “At that time they were looking at several locations and Union was on the list and it is encouraging to know that we are finally getting to the point where they will locate a facility here. Seldom do I go into a meeting or group that someone doesn’t express the desire to have a Waffle House in Union.”
While some local restaurants stay open late, Inman said the Waffle House will be first in the county to remain open around the clock.
“To my knowledge this will be the first 24-hour eatery in Union County,” Inman said. “Some local restaurants have remained open until 2 a.m. to accommodate the second and third shifts when the textiles were booming, but as far as I know none have stayed opend 24 hours a day.”
Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair said the decision is a sign of the company’s faith in the future of Union County.
“I’m certainly excited to have one,” Sinclair said. “It will provide another opportunity for tourists. Their faith in our future says that they obviously believe in our growth potential. Now I know they will be competition for other businesses and I certainly hope it does not hurt any of our other businesses, but I think it is a positive sign of the future.
“My appreciation to Torance Inman and the chamber and Harold Thompson and the City of Union,” he said. “I know they worked hard to make this happen.”
Union Mayor Harold Thompson said that he was confident that the people of Union would support the new restaurant.
“I’m very excited that they are considering Union,” Thompson said. “It will be a big shot in the arm economically for Union. I’m positive that the people here are going to support it because Waffle House is one of those restaurants that is highly involved in the community.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.