Café Edens may have competition for late-night breakfast food soon.
Waffle House—a 24-hour breakfast and brunch chain—will be opening a new location on Ninth Street, its sixth in Durham. The eatery will replace Charlie’s Pub & Grille, which closed in 2015 after the building’s owners did not renew the lease. According to the Triangle Business Journal, no details about the restaurant's opening date have been released yet.
Some students have expressed excitement about the opening of a more convenient location.
“Now I won’t have to Uber to the one in Hillsborough, and I can walk there,” sophomore Kyle Ockerman said.
Sophomore Analese Bridges added that she is looking forward to grabbing breakfast with friends at the new Waffle House.
Students also noted that Waffle House is inexpensive and that its hours may make it a popular late-night option on Ninth Street, along with Cosmic Cantina and Jimmy John’s.
Although the Waffle House may fill a new niche, other students worried that the addition of a Waffle House would change the existing atmosphere on Ninth Street.
“Restaurants on Ninth Street need to strike a balance between being appealing to Duke students and Durham residents and not overpowering the other restaurants,” junior Julia Medine said. “As long as [Waffle House] doesn’t take away the character of Ninth Street, it wouldn’t be the worst.”
Medine also noted that there are already many popular brunch places in Durham and on Ninth Street. She added that student reception will ultimately dictate whether the Waffle House will be a positive or negative addition.
Still, some said they believe that the new Waffle House will not negatively impact the Ninth Street dining scene.
“It will definitely add a different vibe, but I don’t think it will change the Ninth Street, college town feel,” Ockerman said.
The opening of Waffle House comes with other recent changes to Ninth Street businesses.
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Last March, Burger Bach opened its first location in North Carolina and two Venezuelan restaurants—Epa Chamo and Guasaca—began business last May and September respectively. A new coffeehouse, Ninth Street Coffee House and Juice Bar, also opened last year.
“I think Duke students do appreciate the things that make Ninth Street special,” Medine said. “We like that there are restaurants we know just as well as we like that there are ones we don’t know.”