WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A popular late-night chain restaurant is coming to downtown Wilmington early next year.
Signs advertising a new Waffle House appeared at 255 Front Street on Thursday. Ed Wolverton with Wilmington Downtown Inc. said the restaurant will fill a storefront that has been empty for years.
Wolverton said the building's owners are considering adding limited hotel or some residential space on the upper floors. He added that the restaurant means another boost for downtown foot traffic.
"Having a pedestrian connection that brings together all the various areas of downtown is very important and we've seen a big investment in the last few years with the Riverwalk and the continued expansion all the way down to the Isabel Holmes Bridge," he said.
Wolverton said that recently, Pour Taproom filled another long-term vacancy in the first floor of the Murchison Building. With more downtown housing being built, he said existing vacancies may not last much longer.
"Front Street has always had a good, bustling pedestrian setting, but maybe the journey along the way hasn't been the best for some people," he said. "So as we're seeing some of these longer-term vacant buildings get filled, that encourages and entices and embraces the more pedestrian-friendly environment that's so important for downtown."
Wolverton said he would like to see more retail options in downtown Wilmington, including a shoe store. He also said that having an electronic retailer in the area may be an asset to the area.