Waffle House Museum (123rd new thing).
August 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
While browsing my friend Steven’s photo blog, I came across images from his trip to the Waffle House Museum. I didn’t even know the Waffle House had a museum! He mentioned that he wanted to return to the place and take more pictures, so on Day One Hundred Twenty-Three I joined Steven to explore the Waffle House Museum.
Basically the “museum” is converted from the first Waffle House. Joe Rogers, Sr. and Tom Forkner founded the chain diner in the mid 1950’s after Joe was inspired working for the Toddle House. You can read a full history here. I just think its funny that this guy worked for the Toddle House and then took everything he learned with him when he opened up a very similar restaurant. And good for him, because when was the last time you saw a Toddle House? I didn’t think so.
The museum itself is very tiny. Just the front room of an old diner complete with plastic sausage, egg, and bacon on the plates. On the right is a blown up image of the two founders. I pressed the button adjacent to the display and the restaurant filled with the story of the Waffle House. It was a wholesome tale. Beyond the fake settings and displays and the audio history, the only other attraction in that part of the museum was the large cardboard display with the faces cutout so patrons could be Flo or Jim (I’m making up those names). I chose Jimbo.
After we had seen pretty much everything there was to see in the first part of the museum, we headed next door where Waffle House memorabilia was displayed behind glass cases.
It all had a flourescent lighting kitschy feel to it. There wasn’t a specific timeline to the organization of the space, more just a jumble of vintage looking items. Two cases were chock full of metal buttons, all having some sort of Waffle House slogan or logo on them.
The tour around the room only took a few minutes, and the experience felt similar to browsing a jumble sale. We played one of the songs from the jukebox in the corner. Mary Welch Rogers (wife of founder Joe Rogers Sr.) sings most of the Waffle House themed songs found in every jukebox in each restaurant.
And then it was time to go. There really isn’t that much to see at the Waffle House museum. But for me, growing up in Georgia and eating at the diner on nearly all road trips with my family, the place has a completely nostalgic feel to it. So I was glad I went, but I think one visit is enough for anyone.
You can check out more of Steven’s photos on his photo blog.