Belgian Iron Wafel Co. Plans Winter Opening in Short North
Come November, the Short North will welcome a new morning destination. Belgian Iron Wafel Co. will take over the building at 19 W. Russell St., bringing a unique approach to waffles and an earlier breakfast and espresso spot to the neighborhood.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business,” said co-owner Aimee Harper, a civil defense attorney. “I just needed the right concept and the right thing to do and have a really good feeling about it, and this is it.”
The Belgian Iron menu centers on the Liège waffle, a Dutch creation unlike the typical batter-based waffle with which most are familiar. Harper spent hours and went through several trial runs to develop the recipe, which varies from other waffles in its use of dough and pearl sugar. The dough comes in three varieties: original vanilla, cinnamon and gluten-free. When it bakes, the sugar caramelizes, forming a crispy canvas for their range of toppings.
Chef Thomas Brown dreamed up the recipes that’ll top the waffles, including basil bacon brie, lobster with white wine sauce, s’mores, berries and house made whipped cream, and more. Seasonal flavors will pop up, too, with Harper offering pumpkin and gingerbread as current considerations.
A “waffle flight” will appear on the menu. Guests will be able to mix and match smaller waffles of their desired variety. To cater to the on-the-go crowd, mobile options will be available as well, with toppings coming separately for minimal mess.
There will be a few sides, such as bacon, granola, fresh fruit and yogurt, but Harper stressed that the waffles will be the reason to show up.
“The idea is that, when you go into this place, you’re getting waffles,” she said. “This is what you’re going for. So, you’re not going for just food — you’re going in for an experience, and that experience is the waffle.”
Accompanying it all is an espresso bar fully stocked with products from Mission Coffee. Along with typical coffee shop offerings, they’ll have Mission’s cold brew on tap.
Belgian Iron will have counter service, where guests can order and receive their food and coffee as the staff calls out names. Dining space will be on the ground floor and on the mezzanine they plan to build, 36 seats in total.
Although Harper’s recipe is for Dutch waffles, and although Belgian Iron Wafel Co. uses the Dutch spelling of “waffle,” that’s where they leave the Dutch theme. The historic building, built in the 1800s, will have its brick and hardwood floors restored. They’ll then renovate it into a “rustic modern” space, with a lot of iron and wood.
Their opening is planned for “late October, early November.” Once up and running, they’ll operate for breakfast, brunch and lunch (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) every day except Monday.
For more information, visit belgianiron.com.