As Charleston residents begin the long cleanup process from the destruction and debris left by Hurricane Matthew, another fixture of the Lowcountry landscape goes to work — that’s right, the 325 Savannah Highway Waffle House is back in business as of 8:15 a.m. this morning. “Are y’all open?” we asked, and the manager responded enthusiastically, “We’re ready for you.”
The unflappable beacon of bacon and hope rarely closes, but with the storm on the way, the breakfast chain shut down nine South Carolina stores on Saturday. As Eater explains, “This is the first time in several years that more than a few Waffle House locations have closed at one time due to a tropical storm or hurricane. The Georgia-based chain operates hundreds of locations, predominately in the Southern U.S., where it’s known for its 24-hour service.”
Southerners in the know joke that if a Waffle House shuts down, you know the weather will be bad, since the diner has become a bellwether for the Federal Emergency Management Agency which, among other measures, relies on a Waffle House Index to determine the severity of a storm.
Thankfully today though, the sun shines again on Charleston, and smiling faces are back on the line at Waffle House.