Willies ‘n Waffles, an NSFW eatery that opened in May — where customers could indulge in desserts such as a penis-shaped Rainbow Roadhead waffle, topped with white chocolate sauce with cereal and raspberry sauce — is closing in October in Lakeview.
Sharing space with Sundae Stop, an ice cream parlor off the CTA’s Belmont El Station, Willies overshadowed its unassuming co-tenant, slinging doughy phalluses that measure around 7 inches, ready to be slathered with toppings in front of customers. Willies also cooks waffles shaped like vaginas, all cooked to order in custom molds.
Sundae Stop will close on October 1, Willies’ owner Michael Papierz says. Willies will close the following day, with the intention of reopening around Christmas. Papierz had been negotiating with the landlord, the City Suites Hotel, to take over the ice cream parlor’s lease, but staying looks like a long shot. They are scouting other locations and Papierz says he’s honed in on two spaces, one still in Boystown.
Like the comic book decor at nearby 2d Restaurant and weed-themed Wake-N-Bakery before, Willies chases Instagrammable experiences, claiming it won’t compromise flavor in the process. After ordering, customers are often told workers need a few minutes to get things “hard” behind the counter. Each waffle comes with a sexual story, an in-universe explanation as to why the vaginal waffle has white chocolate sauce (it represents cum) or a penis waffle has Fruity Pebbles (it’s reappropriating the slur for queers), explained by a server as the dessert was prepared. Even paying got sexual — inserting a credit card with a “love tap,” choosing no receipt, avoids leaving evidence of purchase.
Papierz, 25, was inspired by Toronto waffle shop Members Only Waffle House and asked “Why the hell isn’t this in Boystown?”
Willies officially opened in late May after a pop-up stint at Sundae Stop. But now they’re leaving after just celebrating 100 days of business. Papierz would like to remain near the gayborhood but is open to other areas. The business survived despite its bravado and brash side effects, including complaints about allegedly lewd signs that were delivered to departing 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney’s office. Willies’ logo is the Willis Tower made of waffles covered in white frosting with two round fruits at the base.
Customers have been walking out pleased since Willes opened. “One of the best services I’ve ever received,” one customer tells Eater. But when asked for their name, the customer chose not to be identified, worried what their father might think if they read this article.