Belgian waffle restaurant no longer opening in downtown Ann Arbor
Lizzy Alfs | AnnArbor.com
Ann Arbor native Noah Goldsmith signed a lease for the former A2 O’Hair salon space near East Liberty Street in February, and hoped to open Wafel Shop by April 1.
But after Goldsmith pulled permits and got city approval for his plans to transform the 1,040-square-foot space, he realized the building’s electrical capacity would not meet the restaurant’s needs and the cost of upgrades would be too high, said building owner Michael Yi.
“In order to upgrade the electrical capacity, it would have cost a considerable amount of money,” Yi said. “I was willing to help invest in the upgrade, but even with that they thought it’d be too expensive.
"We both thought it was best that this location was not appropriate for them.”
He added: “The space would be good for a Subway-type of thing, but not for a full restaurant unless the restaurant wants to invest in upgrading. But for (Goldsmith), it was way too much.”
Wafel Shop planned to specialize in two different types of waffles: the Brussels waffle — with a fluffy interior and crispy exterior — and the Liege waffle — a dense, sweet waffle with chunks of pearl sugar on the inside. There would be a wide array of toppings and coffee from local roasters.
The building’s listing broker, Dan Stewart of Sperry Van Ness/Stewart Commercial Group, said, in an email, it is a "very unfortunate turn of events" that the Wafel Shop will no longer be opening on Fourth Avenue. Goldsmith could not immediately be reached for comment regarding his next steps.
Since Stewart put his marketing sign back in the window less than two weeks ago, he said, he has been “flooded with inquiries.”
Yi said he expects a new tenant will sign a lease for the space next week.