Built in 1950 on 10th Street NW across from Ford's Theatre, this diminutive restaurant is virtually the last remaining example of the stylish mid-20th century commercial storefronts that were once common throughout downtown Washington.
It was designed by Bernard Lyon Frishman Associates in a distinctive Moderne mode characteristic of diners of the era, and particularly of the restaurant’s fellow Blue Bell chain of restaurants. The all-glass front, wave-patterned mosaic, and large neon sign were architectural and promotional responses to the faster-paced automobile age, and the brightly lit, visible interior of the shop became part of its advertising.
In 2007, developer Doug Jemal disassembled the shop with the promise of reconstruction. In 2019, he finally began the process of rebuilding the historic shop and renovating the exterior sign. The site of the original Waffle Shop now houses a contemporary office building.
Today, the Waffle Shop has been reconstructed on the 500 block of K Street NW near Mount Vernon Square, along with two other one-time commercial properties that were saved from demolition and moved from a nearby block: the Hodges Sandwich Shop Building and the Lord Baltimore Filling Station. The Waffle Shop is once again serving customers, but as Stellina Pizzeria (which also extends into the adjacent Hodges building).
DC Inventory: March 27, 2008