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Gaufre Gourmet Opening Brick-and-Mortar in Hillsdale

Downtown's Belgian waffle-focused food cart is opening a soda fountain/cafe in the heart of the hills.

The Gaufre Gourmet is heading for the hills. The popular Downtown food cart is expanding its reach, and its menu, with a new cafe in Hillsdale.

Taking over the Korkage Wine Bar on Southwest Capitol Highway, owner Charlene Wesler and partner Mike Susak will turn the space into a soda fountain/breakfast-and-lunch spot called GiGi's Cafe. "We'll be serving hand-crafted sodas, ice cream sundaes, and waffles, including savory waffles," says Wesler.

The cart has focused mainly on sweet waffles, so the cafe is her chance to introduce more lunch-worthy concepts. "For example, we'll have a burger with grass-fed beef patties and waffles as the bun. We'll have the Porklandia, which is pulled pork on a cornbread-jalapeno waffle. And we'll have an Italian meatball sandwich on a parmesan waffle," she says.

During the week, the cafe will serve breakfast and lunch, and an expanded brunch menu on weekends. There's no liquor license yet, so don't expect mimosas right away. But they'll have fresh juices and coffee custom-blended by St. John's Roasters. "We worked with him until we found a blend we liked."

Wesler says no huge renovations are in the works, so she expects to open GiGi's Cafe by the end of October. The Washington outpost in the food court at Three Rivers Mall in Kelso will remain open, as will the Downtown cart, although this week it's shuttered while the Grimm TV crew borrows it to film an upcoming episode.

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