Residents of Bryan-College Station have been advocating and campaigning for nearly a decade for Waffle House to bring a location to Aggieland, but Waffle House officials have stifled the latest move to bring the southern staple restaurant chain into town, for now at least.
The latest push to bring a Waffle House to Aggieland was inspired by an Instagram post from Barstool Texas A&M. The A&M-linked and Barstool-affiliated page posted a screenshot of a direct message to the official Waffle House account on July 19 asking “good luck you all have a location in College Station.” Waffle House’s official page commented on the post and said if it reached 250,000 likes, the company would mention the post to its real estate and construction team. It took five days for the post to surpass 250,000 likes.
However, the social media push didn’t lead to Waffle House announcing that a restaurant would soon be coming to Aggieland.
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“Know that your desire and that of the College Station community to have a nearby Waffle House has been heard. You are not being ignored,” Njeri Boss, vice president of public relations at Waffle House, said in a statement. “It’s not that we didn’t want to be there, but rather that there are multiple complicated logistical barriers that must first be overcome before we can move from the thinking phase to any planning phase. However, we will continue to monitor the situation in the hope that one day, sooner rather than later, we can make it happen.
“Until then, we ask for the community’s continued patience as we work through potential opportunities to eventually make inroads closer to the College Station community than we currently are. We greatly appreciate your love and loyalty. , as well as those in the community, towards our brand. And, if and when we are able to make the College Station location a reality, we will be sure to share this news with the community in due course.
College Station Mayor Karl Mooney posted on Facebook on Tuesday that he had received a letter from Anita Dunio, Waffle House property administrator and logo board manager. The response Mooney received from Waffle House this week is the same statement Boss provided to The Eagle. Mooney told The Eagle he sent a letter to Waffle House officials and received a response the following day. Mooney said he wrote to an official at Waffle House several years ago, but never received a response.
“For years we’ve had people wanting to have a Waffle House in College Station,” Mooney told The Eagle. “I have since had further correspondence with her and have asked her to let me know as soon as Waffle House is fully considering College Station or if there is anything more I can do to help them move into this direction.”
Attracting businesses and restaurants to town is the responsibility of anyone in public office, Mooney said. He noted how Gringo’s, which opened on July 19, had owned its property for nine years and nearly abandoned building a College Station restaurant before proceeding with its original plans. Mooney said he pitched College Station’s growth and stable economy to Waffle House officials as reasons to invest in an Aggieland site.
“That’s one of the things I tried to impress on the folks at Waffle House,” Mooney said. “Make sure they understand that we will probably have about 68,000 students this year. Not to mention that Interstate 6 is the only north-south route between Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth between Interstates 35 and 45.”
It’s also not the first online movement of Bryan-College Station residents pushing to bring Waffle House to Aggieland.
The hashtag #WafflesForAgs has been used by people to support Waffle House by bringing a restaurant to the Bryan-College Station area. The movement was started online by staff writers at Good Bull Hunting, an A&M-affiliated SB Nation website. In 2013, Aggieland Outfitters created t-shirts with #WafflesForAgs on the front and the A&M logo with a waffle design on the back. Waffle House’s Twitter account posted a fake graphic on April Fool’s Day in 2014 indicating that a restaurant would be coming to town in 2015.
A private Facebook group called “College Station Needs A Waffle House” was founded in January 2014 and has 984 members. The page notes that College Station is the only one of 14 college towns in the Southeastern Conference without Waffle House.
Waffle House brought a food truck to the A&M campus in September 2019 after College Station won a Twitter poll of the city expected to receive a tour from the chain. Hundreds of people came to the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center to get free waffles and hash browns, and free Waffle House apparel.
Pat Warner, former director of public relations and external affairs at Waffle House, told The Battalion when visiting the restaurant in College Station that “we will be there one day. Unfortunately, I don’t know what day it will be. There are no plans at this time. I see us eventually having restaurants in College Station.
Until then, B-CS residents must venture out of town to dine at Waffle House. Currently, the closest Waffle House locations to B-CS are nearly 70 miles away in Conroe and Cypress.
“I’m sure there are people who have visited Waffle House and there are probably others who haven’t, but I think it would be pretty cool to have one here and such” , Mooney said. “There’s one in many other SEC school communities and it would be another notch in our belt, so to speak, just to have that here at College Station.”