Spokane Journal of Business

People’s Waffle hopes to fill void in downtown Spokane

Restaurants & Retail

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It’s been almost a decade since Alyssa and Bryan Agee returned to Spokane from Portland, Oregon. And it has taken that long for the couple to bring a feature here that they loved in the Rose City: an exquisite waffle house.

The Agees and their longtime friend, Aaron Hein, have opened People’s Waffle, at 15 S. Howard, in the Symons Block building at the northeast corner of Howard Street and First Avenue downtown.

People’s Waffle is located in space formerly occupied by The Blue Spark bar, which closed in 2013 after 14 years in business. More recently it served as home to event venue and bar The Observatory, which closed in early 2019.

“If you see something missing in the city you love, then make it happen,” Alyssa Agee says.

With veteran chef Brad Fisher, formerly of The Davenport Hotel, and kitchen specialists Emily Krug and Rory Neeson, the owners have established a waffle menu ranging from as simple as the Plain Jane—two waffles with butter and syrup—to the Duck Confit, which features Peking duck served with fig jam, boursin cheese, and pickled onion served over a pair of waffles.

All menu items are gluten-free and foods are locally sourced, Agee says.

“It’s fast, fresh, and everything is made from scratch,” she says. “Our menu items include breakfast and lunch.”

With nine employees to start, People’s Waffle will operate 8 am.-2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Dine-in and take-out orders are available. Online orders can be placed at peopleswaffle.com.

The restaurant occupies just under 600 square feet in the north portion of the 3,000-square-foot space the owners are leasing. People’s Waffle will have seating capacity of 40 people when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The Agees and Hein plan to open a coffee, dessert, and cocktail bar to be named Emma Rue’s in the south portion of the building. It will feature single-origin espressos and brews sourced from Portland-based Coava Coffee Roasters, Agee says.

“We make our own oat milk in-house and all of our own sauces and syrups,” she says.

Bryan Agee, a 38-year-old Spokane native, who is currently in Texas with the Air National Guard, and Hein, 42, who grew up in the Fairfield farming community south of Spokane, met decades ago traveling together in a music band, Hein says.

The trio started Peoples Waffle in mid-2020, operating out of a food truck that was based primarily at the Wonder Building north of downtown, Agee says.

Despite the pandemic, they continued to look for a brick-and-mortar location around downtown. With the help of Bryan’s father, a Spokane real estate agent, they found the Howard Street location in October and signed the lease the following month, Agee says.

Kevin Blocker
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