Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sketchy Wafflery Eatery Closes at Lenox Square

The Wafflery at Lenox Square has closed. Located in the food court of the Buckhead mall, the Wafflery occupied a space most recently home to Cinnabon. That they stayed open as long as they did was a shock to me, and I'm told that they vacated their space late Sunday night.

Even before they opened last summer, I questioned the viability of such a niche concept in Lenox Square. Somehow, Thierry Tubajika, the restaurant's operator, ran a half dozen other businesses simultaneously, as well as being "Senior Product Manager" at T-Mobile where he was responsible for "Managing all aspect of project initiation to completion." Strangely, the Wafflery's website continues to list franchise and partner opportunities with the brand though Lenox was their only location.

I added the Wafflery to the ToNeTo Atlanta DeathWatch in the third quarter of last year. This past January, (given the fact I've never seen the Wafflery actually make any sales in my many trips to nearby Chick-Fil-A), I predicted that they would be closed within 60 days without [significant] rent concessions from Simon properties. I was wrong. They closed 62 days after that post. Think what you will of my blog or my opinions, but my accuracy and insight in Atlanta is clear. I get no joy from closures but this is my sixth accurate closure prediction since January.

No word on whether SIMON already has another tenant lined up for the space, but my guess would be... a frozen yogurt joint. Local yogurt shops Yoforia and Yogli Mogli both list Buckhead as "coming soon" on their respective websites, but neither discloses an exact location. Last month, Los Angeles-based Pinkberry opened in the Buckhead Triangle Shopping Center but weeks later saw its neighboring Borders become the latest location to begin liquidation sales.

Yoforia now has locations across the metro area, but one of their original three locations was in a small space in Perimeter Mall's food court. The location is one of few Yoforias that is not self serve. Ontario-based Yogen Fruz has locations in North Point Mall and Mall of Georgia, and California-based Tutti Frutti has a location in Discover Mills.

There are a few vacancies in the Lenox food court. What would you like to see open? What's your favorite eatery in the mall?

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Berg said...

I decided to try the Wafflery 5 weeks ago and was really disappointed. It was unbelievable to me that they weren't making waffles to order. From personal experience, it takes about 3 minutes to make a fresh waffle.

Instead, one employee was making waffles and setting them aside in a pile. The other employee would then take a cold waffle from the pile and heat it up whenever a customer ordered something.

The employees looked miserable and like they hated their lives. Based on the screwed-up process of serving cold waffles, and how awful their food tasted, I'm not surprised.

So good riddance, Wafflery! I hope someone who respects customers and enjoys serving delicious food replaces you.

Jenna S. said...

You definitely called this one, Eli. I too am a frequent visitor to the food court at Lenox and it was kind of a no brainer that The Wafflery wasn't exactly thriving. While I probably only saw 2 customers there EVER buying waffles (or purchasing anything for that matter), I always kind of thought that perhaps their early morning or brunch business was better than the evening times that I was usually there.

@Berg -- you are dead on in your observation of their employees looking completely miserable. But who wouldn't be with a job like that? My husband and I once commented that perhaps giving out samples could have helped them, but then again, maybe not...

As far as what else this food court needs -- BETTER FOOD OPTIONS! Sushi Sarku is always packed but takes forever to get your meal. Not many other great options, in my opinion. My favorite model for a food court is in Aventura Mall (my hometown). With tons of affordable, healthy and gourmet options, Lenox could learn a thing or two from them.

Atlantan99 said...

Finally with power, I'm happy to be back and blogging. (For any of the thousands still w/o, I feel for you)

@Berg I certainly hope SIMON does find a worthy replacement.

@Jenna, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Aventura Mall, the food court, not my favorite, but the mall itself, AMAZEBALLS.

Thanks for reading and for the comments!

Anonymous said...

Just so everyone is aware:
Amazeballs -- Some annoying term Perez Hilton keeps trying to make happen, by saying it repeatedly, even though it makes no sense, and getting twitter followers to try and make it a trending topic, to make himself more famous for no reason.

Anonymous said...

You do a good job keeping an eye on the scene.

But why do you always crow about your accuracy. I could stomach that if you were willing to also point out your misses (Yeah Burger comes to mind).

Anonymous said...

Haven't been to the Lenox food court in a while (in terms of malls, I prefer Phipps, Perimete and North Point over Lenox), but looking over their list of food court options on their website, I wasn't impressed.

One option I'd like to see at the Lenox food court is Great Steak and Potato or a similar cheesesteak place. Maybe it's me, but I always find a cheesesteak place to be one of the more popular eateries at a mall food court. That seemed to be the case in some of the DC-area malls I visited when I lived up there a few years back (Union Station, Pentagon City, etc.) It's not a "genuine Philly" by a longshot, but I think a cheesesteak place is worth a risk.

Anonymous said...

"Think what you will of my blog or my opinions, but my accuracy and insight in Atlanta is clear. I get no joy from closures but this is my sixth accurate closure prediction since January. "

Ok we get it you are brilliant. How about some modesty?

Atlantan99 said...

@ Anon RE YEAH! Burger,

I appreciate the feedback but in the case of Baba Louz and The Wafflery, I predicted precise time-frames for closure and was accurate to within a few days on both. With YEAH! Burger, I said I'd be surprised if they make it longer than 2 years. This is still a possibility. It's not that I see them on the verge of closing like the others but I see them as being more a fad than a longterm success.

Thanks for the comment and for reading.

Atlantan99 said...

@ Anon RE modesty.

Noted. The phrasing but a bit much. I will look to reduce such statements in the future.

Thanks for reading and for the comment!

Anonymous said...

Open up a Popeyes in the food court at Lenox! It would be a huge success. A Wendy's...... Even better!

Mommy A said...

I'd lovento see a yogurt place. There isn't any currently at Lenox so I bet it would do well!

Tiffanie a.

Anonymous said...

This dude is nuts. First of all as a TMO employee, this guy is not a senior manager and couldnt be if they gave him the job. He is analyst 2 or 3 claming to be something that he aint. first of all he needs to learn his job at Tmobile first and then learn how to cook waffles. this dude should be a damn shame. SHUT DOWNNNNNNNNN

Anonymous said...

Haters will always be around as long as this world exist. Give probs where its due.

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