The Waffle Shop Country Cooking in northwest Fresno known for waffles loaded with everything from bacon to chocolate is closing.
The business, at Figarden Drive and Brawley Avenue, was sold to a new owner and will close, the restaurant’s owner confirmed.
The Waffle Shop has been around for years. Its owner, Ammar Ibrahim, opened a second breakfast restaurant, Daddy Waffles at Herndon and Marks, late last year.
After confirming the closure, he could not be reached for further comment about why he was selling the business. Another restaurant with a different concept plans to open in the spot, he said.
It’s not clear when the Waffle Shop’s last day will be, but an employee was telling customers early in the week that it could be in a week or two.
Daddy Waffles has a similar menu, including the top-selling chicken and waffles — plus more indulgent options such as cheesecake on a waffle. That restaurant will stay open.
The restaurant and the pandemic
The Waffle Shop made headlines in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic when it defied state orders to close its dining room. The restaurant eventually closed to avoid a $10,000 fine.
But not before Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld held a press conference that attracted supporters of the restaurant and critics of the governor’s restrictions, one of whom was handcuffed and detained by police.
It’s the last Waffle Shop in the area. Other locations, including one on Blackstone Avenue near Gettysburg and the one Ibrahim used to run near Blackstone and Herndon avenues, have closed.
Restaurants of all kinds have been battered by challenges in recent years, from rising rent and energy costs, a labor shortage and COVID-19 dining room closures. Inflation sent the prices of many ingredients restaurants use skyrocketing, with the price of eggs hitting a record high last year.
Back at the Figarden Loop, The Waffle Shop’s closure is another loss of a familiar business in the center. Sabor Cocina Latina & Bar recently left the center and moved to Palm and Nees avenues.