Avondale Estates was founded in 1924 by George Francis Willis, who purchased the entire village of Ingleside to create a planned community. The city was named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England, birthplace of Shakespeare. Downtown buildings were designed in a Tudor style to reinforce this image, as were many of the houses in the city. Community amenities such as a lake, tennis courts, clubhouse, and a swimming pool were built for residents. It was also the birthplace of the Waffle House chain; the first restaurant opened in the city in 1955.
With the guidance of internationally known city planners, Willis proceeded to develop what would later be known as the only documented example of a planned city in the Southeast. Today, Avondale Estates is named on the National Registrar of Historic Places.
On Labor Day 1955, Avondale Estates neighbors Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner founded the first Waffle House restaurant. The name was inspired by the most popular item on the original menu. The restaurant’s focus on fast-food speed and round-the-clock service reflected mid-century societal shifts toward an automobile culture.