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Wonut Home Woes: City Shuts Waffles Cafe Over Unpaid $15K Debt

By Ariel Cheung | May 23, 2016 5:46pm
 Waffles Cafe closed in Lakeview Thursday.
Waffles Cafe closed in Lakeview Thursday.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

LAKEVIEW — The city shut down Waffles Cafe in Lakeview Thursday, revoking its license five months after the eatery closed for renovations in late 2015.

Waffles Cafe, 3611 N. Broadway, lost its business license last week after a $15,000 debt to the city went unpaid, according to the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Owner Alex Hernandez did not respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon. The cafe did not post about the closing on its website or Facebook page, which has been silent since late March.

The purveyor of wonuts skyrocketed to fame in April 2014, when its waffle-doughnut hybrid got rave reviews from Thrillist, Jezebel and Daily Mail.

"Humanity is never topping this," Jezebel declared.

A wonut, a waffle-doughnut hybrid. [Facebook]

The cronut's presumptive heir switched up locations several times, closing a kiosk in Water Tower Place in search of a new Downtown location.

A third location at 203 E. Ohio St. did not appear permanently shuttered as of Monday.

The Lakeview Waffles Cafe closed for the holiday season with promises to reopen Jan. 2. When the deadline passed without change, Hernandez said he was focusing on renovations at the Streeterville spot before Lakeview work would begin.

Waffles Cafe has been largely empty since late 2015, but it wasn't officially closed until Thursday. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

"We're don't want to have to change things as we go along, so we're just trying to figure out what is the best move," he said in January. "We're just trying to make sure whatever the game plan is, we have a clear idea."

If Waffles is gone for good, it'll leave some coveted Lakeview real estate up for grabs at Addison and Broadway. Previous incarnations include Istanbul Restaurant and North Coast Cafe in the strip of shops just one street over from Boystown and a brief walk from Wrigley Field.

Waffles Cafe opened in the space at 3611-3617 N. Broadway in 2012, followed by the Streeterville location in 2014.

Waffles Cafe had its business license revoked last week, forcing it to close Thursday. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

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