The Waffle House at 5416 Asheville Highway is expected to reopen around July 22, after being torn down and completely rebuilt from the ground up. The restaurant is part of a multi-store franchise held by Marketplace Holdings Inc. of Alpharetta, Ga., which operates some 24 Waffle House locations in the greater Knoxville area.
The familiar eatery opened near the I-40/Asheville Highway interchange in East Knoxville some 37 years ago just in time for the 1982 World’s Fair. The 2,700-square-foot building will seat about 50 patrons at a series of dining booths and the familiar counter service.
Construction supervisor Mike Wampler said that the teardown was necessary after years of wear and tear of pipes and other equipment. The larger rebuild also enabled the company to modernize kitchen equipment, bathrooms and other public-access features required under current law.
The restaurant will employ approximately 30 cooks and servers. Wampler said they are still looking to hire qualified applicants. Info: 865-659-0785.
Remember the jingle: Once open, Waffle House throws away the keys and provides 24-hour dining.
Nick Della Volpe is a lawyer and former Knoxville City Council member who lives in East Knoxville.