The appliances are all unplugged, the seats no longer warm, at Back Alley Waffles in northwest Washington. After only three months in business, the restaurant went under.
But former owner Craig Nelsen opened his doors one last time Sunday afternoon for an auction in a unique effort to pay frustrated employees like Jeffrey Peterson their wages.
“I was on the line making waffles,” he says.
You see, multiple employees claim they were underpaid or never paid.
Everything, from signs to chairs, were up for bid.
Bill Debaun had his eye on only one item.
“I'm looking at the kitchen made mixer in there,” he says.
David Ceceliski goes often to auctions.
“The people that were loyal to this place will at least show up,” he says.
But they didn't. The auction fell apart after only a handful of people came.
“It turned out to be more of a garage sale and I'm glad some people are going to get paid but, yeah, 50 bucks for a mixer is great,” says Bobby Lehman.
Lehman ended up riding off with the mixer Debaun wanted but never bid on. Debaun left without buying anything. Some, though, did leave satisfied.
But the auction only raised around $200, leaving employees once again questioning Nelsen's business acumen.