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Waffle House to expand DeLand’s ‘breakfast district’

EMPTY, FOR NOW — This vacant lot at 1120 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand will be where Waffle House opens a new restaurant in about a year. The site is within a quarter-mile of a Denny’s and an IHOP, and less than a half-mile south of a Perkins Restaurant & Bakery.

EMPTY, FOR NOW — This vacant lot at 1120 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand will be where Waffle House opens a new restaurant in about a year. The site is within a quarter-mile of a Denny’s and an IHOP, and less than a half-mile south of a Perkins Restaurant & Bakery.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

Waffle House, a Georgia-based chain of 24-hour restaurants, has bought property on North Woodland Boulevard on which to place its second eatery in West Volusia.

There’s a Waffle House at 414 Deltona Blvd. in Deltona, as well as one each in Port Orange and Ormond Beach.

The DeLand site, at 1120 N. Woodland Blvd., is less than a quarter-mile south of two other 24-hour, breakfast-dominant chain outlets — a Denny’s that opened last year and an IHOP that opened in 1978.

In addition, a Perkins Restaurant & Bakery is about two blocks north of IHOP; although it’s open just 6 a.m. to midnight (1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights), it does serve breakfast at any time.

Waffle House paid $217,500 for the nearly three-quarter-acre site to the former landowner, local historian Louise Caccamise. One of the last businesses to occupy the lot was her late husband’s real estate business, but the property had also been used by private homes and other small businesses — including a popular restaurant at one time — over the years. It has sat empty since the 1990s.

In an interview with The Beacon, Caccamise said she had the property under contract with Krystal twice, in 2011 and 2014, but the burger chain didn’t close either deal. She researched the property’s history at Krystal’s request to make sure it was never the site of a gas station and might need remediation. (It wasn’t and didn’t.)

She got Waffle House under contract last December, and began the process of getting the property annexed into DeLand and rezoned for Highway Commercial use.

Final approvals were given in June, and Waffle House finally closed on the property last month. Company spokesman Pat Warner said there wasn’t anything unusual about the four-month delay.

“It was just normal things in getting a contract together, [and] nothing out of the ordinary,” Warner said.

Waffle House now is in the process of drawing up plans and going through the approvals process, he added. The new restaurant should open in about a year and will employ up to 30 employees.

“It will be a typical Waffle House, with anywhere between 33 and 40 seats,” Warner said.

Waffle House has 1,850 locations in 25 states, mostly in the Southeastern U.S., according to www.wafflehouse.com. The chain doesn’t have any locations in the six New England states, or in states across the northern tier of the country or along the Pacific Coast.

It has dozens of outlets in Florida, including the three other restaurants in Volusia County.

“That part of Florida’s been really good to Waffle House. … It’s a good market for us,” Warner said. “We’re excited to be down there [in DeLand].”

— Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

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