A European meal is no longer a plane ride away thanks to two new restaurants located on East Liberty Street.
The Wafel Shop, located at 113 East Liberty Street, and What Crepe?, located at 241 East Liberty, moved to Ann Arbor recently to give locals an international experience.
What Crepe? — which offers more than 50 options of its namesake fare — is planning to open this month in the space formerly occupied by Squares Restaurant.
Ashley Jenkins, who does marketing for What Crepe?, wrote in an e-mail interview that Owner Paul Jenkins Jr. decided to open an Ann Arbor location after previously living in the city. Jenkins said Jenkins, Jr. thinks the restaurant will be a good addition to the downtown.
“The University community is a huge plus along with all the other schools in the area,” Jenkins said. “We’ll host the whole gamut of private events, everything from graduation parties and field trips to surprise proposals and business meetings.”
The owners hope What Crepe?’s menu will soon expand to options like vegan and gluten-free crepes.
“Our expertly paired and sometimes garden-grown ingredients come made-to-order in perfectly plated crepes that you won’t find anywhere else,” Jenkins said. “We’ve even been told that our crepes are as good as or better than ones you can get on the streets of Paris.”
They also plan on serving a variety of wines, teas, sodas and coffee.
“We also have a full bar and specialty drink menu,” Jenkins said. “We’re exploring vegan wines and always include Michigan products.”
Just down the street, another European breakfast restaurant opened recently. The Wafel Shop only seats 16 people, but aims to transport its customers from Ann Arbor to Belgium.
Noah Goldsmith — who owns the shop with co-owner Tia Hoffman — said he fell in love with Belgian-style waffles after a study abroad trip to Europe.
The restaurant specializes in two types of “Wafels” — Liege and Brussels — which can be ordered with toppings ranging from strawberries and chocolate sauce to bacon and maple syrup.
Though there are other breakfast restaurants near The Wafel Shop, Goldsmith said he’s not concerned about the competition.
“I believe we all offer something different,” Goldsmith said. “A lot of people think that in order for one business to succeed, another has to fail. I don’t think that. I think that it doesn’t have to be a failure and that two businesses can complement each other in their works.”
Updated: The date of the What Crepe? grand opening has been tentatively postponed. This article has been changed to reflect that. The Wafel Shop is fully open.
Clarification appended: This article has been updated to include Goldsmith’s co-owner, Tia Hoffman.