“[The founders and designers] went with a shoebox design that turned, so we could get a more narrow lot,” said Pat Warner, a Waffle House spokesman.
That sixth location opened in Atlanta in November 1961, was designed by Paul Schulte to be a rectangle with a pitched roof, while the next location was designed by architect Clifford Nahser, who followed it up with a flat roof for the seventh restaurant. He's also been credited with integrating the chain's yellow color scheme more fully into the store, incorporating it into not just the design of the building but the signage and its overall presentation. It opened in 1962 and the chain's restaurants have mostly retained the look ever since, with the exception of a new, fancier location with a wrought-iron fence and a courtyard popping up in New Orleans.
But it was the original that made the impression in the half-century that followed and remains burned in the minds of its devoted customers. Even that New Orleans location, when it opened up, wasn't so fancy, according to local critics. As Todd A. Price of the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote when it opened: "The inside could be any Waffle House in America, complete with stools, big laminated yellow menus and a jukebox packed with breakfast-themed tunes."