REXBURG — With a new year comes a new Rexburg business that focuses on improving the local social scene using singing, dancing and waffles.
David Taylor, a longtime entrepreneur, will be introducing Rexburg to The Singing Waffle beginning next week at 157 N. Second E., across from Norco Medical.
The Singing Waffle is a creation of Taylor and his wife, Mary. The couple has held ecclesiastical positions with student wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Brigham Young University–Idaho for the past eight years, which provides them with a unique perspective of how college students socialize.
“We feel the community has a void of things that provide wholesome activities for students,” Taylor said.
Their answer? A new entertainment venue that focuses on music and eating. Specifically, karaoke and waffles, all in one place, which Taylor calls The Singing Waffle.
“The concept is that a person can spend the evening singing or dancing to their heart’s content and then enjoy a waffle and a drink, all for one fee,” Taylor said. “You’ll pay less than a movie ticket at Edwards Cinema in Idaho Falls for the whole night.”
Taylor says he’s lined up a professional DJ who is known for playing non-vulgar music and subscribed to a service that has a karaoke catalog of over 15,000 songs, with new songs being added each week.
“We’re really combining two concepts into one,” he said. “We really like the idea of a dance and karaoke establishment.”
Part two of the Taylors’ nightly package deal is the food: waffles.
“We have a 300-year-old recipe that has come up through family lines for a sourdough waffle,” he said. “They’re very light. I even eat three or four at a time.”
Taylor said the waffles are a specialty feature that his wife is in charge of, and that she’s looking forward to serving up food to hungry dancers.
Waffles are served with a variety of toppings.
“We’ll start out with enough for people to choose a base, such as Nutella, peanut butter or fruit dip,” Taylor said. “Then they’ll choose fruit, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, and then two different kinds of syrup, like traditional maple or buttermilk, and finally a big dole of whip cream.”
Taylor said he plans on mostly having The Singing Waffle open at night, where it will serve the most patrons.
“We will be open Thursday through Saturday from 7:30-11:30 p.m., and the rest of the week we’ll leave open for reservation by groups,” he said. “If the church or a high school group wants a place for a senior party, this is the place for those kind of special events.”
The Singing Waffle is open to everyone, though Taylor said he mostly expects college students to be the main users of his venue.
“It will be very interesting to see who comes,” he said. “It’s open to people of all ages, and everyone is expressing an interest in coming. Even though our target audience is BYU-Idaho students, the community is welcome. We won’t have an official age limit, but those younger than in junior high school might not feel comfortable during nights.”
The location that houses The Singing Waffle is very large, and Taylor said he won’t be using all of that space all at once.
“We’re starting off with 3,500 square feet,” he said. “We will have in this first phase of operations a cap of 299 per night. We would see if it goes well and pick up another 3,500 square feet in space and expand to 600 people in capacity.”
Taylor said too much space takes away from having a fun atmosphere.
“What we want to deliver is a homey, happy place that you’re comfortable,” he said. “We don’t want it to be a thousand people. You don’t want to lose your ability to lose control of the environment.”
After decades of starting new business prospects, Taylor said he and his wife are ready to begin again with The Singing Waffle.
“We’ve been thinking about this for a long time, we’ve been entrepreneurs our whole lives,” he said. “A couple of our other ventures came to an end, and one thing was finding a good spot. There’s a lot of empty real estate in Rexburg, and most of it is too big. Many of the current owners don’t want to subdivide their space. The owner of the Splatters building just changed hands recently and were excited to work with us.”
After a private opening on Jan. 8 to two BYU-Idaho wards, The Singing Waffle will be open for business on Thursday, Jan. 11. A grand opening is not currently planned.
For more information about The Singing Waffle find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Editor's note: a previous version of this article stated that The Singing Waffle would be open on Monday, January 11. This was an error, which has since been corrected.