By Virginia C. McGuire
Bonté Wafflerie & Cafe shut down its 17th and Sansom location after nine years Wednesday. What's to blame for the closing? Real estate, of course. The cafe is in the high-rent area around Rittenhouse Square, but it's tucked into a basement. Many people walk by without noticing it. "This location is underperforming, and the rent is going up," explained manager Aaron Wolfson.
The first clue came Wednesday morning at around 9 a.m. when customers were told the cafe wouldn't be serving waffles any more. Then they said they were out of espresso. Just before noon staff began stacking chairs on tables. The place was mostly full in spite of the limited fare, but it emptied out fast when people realized what was happening.
Wolfson said the company will avoid laying off staff in spite of the closure. The cafe's remaining locations (10th and Walnut and on the Temple campus) will stay open, and will feature expanded menus and light remodeling in the near future.