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Waffle-themed restaurant to open this month in Hampden

Waffie, a waffle-theme-restaurant, will open Jan. 22 in Hampden.
Waffie, a waffle-theme-restaurant, will open Jan. 22 in Hampden. (Waffie)

Waffie, an eatery dedicated to dessert-style waffles, will open on The Avenue in Hampden in January, its co-owners said this week.

Minje Suh and Tommy Choe, graduates of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, dreamed up the idea for the restaurant more than a year ago. Suh and Choe, who are also couple, went on a 22-state road trip sampling various waffle offerings throughout the country.

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They've also been perfecting their square-shaped waffle, which can be customized with an array of sweet toppings such as fruits, cookie crumbles and syrups. Waffie will also serve hot chocolate and several types of milk, such as chocolate and matcha-flavored.

The 800-square-foot space, located at 839 W. 36th Street, will open Jan. 22, the owners said.

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Everything will be made from scratch, Suh said.

Their waffles, which are based on the Liège-style from Belgium, range from $3.50 to $4 a piece.

“We love our waffles. And we'll offer one type,” Suh said. “Maybe later it could change. But that's far in the future.”

While traditional American waffles are made with baking powder, waffles at Waffie are made with yeast, the owners said.

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Baltimore chef Chris Amendola is bringing his love for foraging — searching for wild ingredients in the woods of Maryland and Pennsylvania — to a restaurant in Hampden.

"It results in a better taste," Choe said, adding that they are continuing to perfect their recipe. "Even though we have our final product, we want to get it better and better. We want customers to be amazed — not just by what they see. We want them to love it was much as we do."

Although they say they will "experiment" with the hours of the restaurant, Waffie will initially be open from noon to 10 p.m. The eatery will seat around 25 people, according to Suh.

The two fell in love with Hampden the moment they started searching for a location.

"There is a real sense of community there," Suh said. "Everything about Hampden, we love it. We just thought that this type of waffle would fit in at Hampden."

Choe said that their handheld waffle concept is ideal for an area like Hampden, which has a lot of foot traffic.

Baltimore’s restaurant industry is as competitive as it’s ever been — and it’s putting some eateries out of business.

“[Customers] will be taking it on the go,” he explained. “Around Hampden, there are a lot of tourists and locals. They just want to grab things on the go. Seating wasn't that important.”

Although the two have degrees in psychology, they both come from families with culinary experience. Suh’s family owns Scoops Café in Dundalk, and Choe’s family owns Bada Sushi in Pikesville.

The couple, who have been together for seven years, originally explored specializing in hot, fresh-made cookies. But they eventually decided on the waffle concept.

“[Suh has] always had a love of food and desserts," Choe said, adding that he's more interested in the business aspect of restaurant. "But her love of food and dessert rubbed off on me.”

You can follow Waffie on Instagram at @WaffieWaffle.

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