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A Waffle Wellspring

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Joseph Wells opened his eponymous restaurant in 1938 and popularized that sweet-and-salty delicacy known as chicken and waffles, which he served to post-gig entertainers eating too late for dinner and too early for breakfast. After decades of fame, success, and inevitable copycats, the supper club closed, only to be reborn last year as Wells Chicken and Waffles, a takeout ten blocks north of the original location. But Ann Wells, Joseph’s widow and keeper of the secret waffle-batter recipe, has big plans: She’s seeking investors and looking to franchise nationally, perhaps with current consulting chef Mark Thomas, a.k.a. Smokey Valentino, who’s added dishes like fried seafood and barbecue. “We want to bring the brand into the 21st century,” says Thomas, who’s contemplating a chicken-and-waffles truck—“if we can bring Miss Wells on board.” 2453 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., nr. 143rd St.; 212-939-9622.


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