Avalanche Crepes & Waffles to Bring Sweet and Savory Eats Near UC

AAfter nearly a year of anticipation of construction, Avalanche Crepes & Waffles is slated to open later this month near the University of Cincinnati’s Clifton campus. The restaurant offers a mix of sweet and savory crepes and waffles, gluten-free menu options, Bloody Mary’s and more. Raegan Funes, the 23-year-old Avalanche founder and native of Bozeman, Montana, is excited to create community through crepes at her location at 160 W. McMillian St.

Photo courtesy of Jason Carter

Avalanche announced its grand opening in spring 2021. How has the renovation process been from when you announced your restaurant to today?

Well it was definitely a process. I owned and operated a crepes and waffle shop in downtown Bozeman and it was very successful. And I moved to Cincinnati and I thought, I will open my own. I didn’t get a general contractor, I did everything and it took a very long time. COVID-19 has definitely impacted the permits [process] of things with the city of Cincinnati. Everything just took so much longer than expected. I thought it was open last year but COVID-19 threw me for a whirlwind.

All were booked due to COVID-19. It has pushed back many projects for larger companies doing things like construction. I just couldn’t wait any longer for her time to work for me. So I just like to go straight to work and do all these things myself.

I found these guys Sean and Jay O’Leary who helped me so much. They taught me a lot, like caulking and refinishing windows, so I learned a lot of new tricks and skills. I had to hire an electrician and a floor fitter to install the floors. I did as much of the work myself as I could and mean a lot more to me now. I know that blood, sweat and tears have indeed shed at this restaurant.

As a native of Montana, why would you want to open your restaurant here in Cincinnati?

My ex-boyfriend is from Cincinnati. He wanted to come here and play hockey, and I was like, I will open my own breakfast place. And Cincinnati is perfect – many places don’t succeed in Montana just because the population is equivalent to a very small city. The population of the town where I ran the crepe and waffle shop that was really successful has just the same population of students at UC.

How do you think your restaurant will impact our city’s culinary scene?

I noticed that there is definitely a lack of breakfast restaurants [UC’s] Campus. I know there’s a bagel shop and then Hangover Easy that aren’t even directly on campus. I just want to create a really good place for kids to do their homework or have a cool brunch and get some Bloody Mary’s. I just want kids to enjoy their time at Avalanche and I hope to bring new energy to Cincinnati.

I love Cincinnati so much. Some of the nicest people live here and everyone is so welcoming. I feel so comfortable here and am so happy to be opening a business in Cincinnati. I’m really excited because everyone here is a big foodie. It’s pretty crazy. Everyone just eats and drinks here and goes to baseball games. It is so much fun.

What are your favorite dishes on the Avalanche menu?

My favorite [savory crepe] is called The Avalanche, which is the big hangover crepe. So it’ll have bacon with chorizo, scrambled eggs, hash browns, white cheddar, scallions and jalapenos – all with country sauce. My favorite candy [crepe] It’s called Yellowstone and has butter, bananas, brown sugar, caramel, powdered sugar and whipped cream, so it’s kind of like banana care. It’s the best in the whole world.

I also have an option called Lewis and Clark that you can get if you don’t know what to order. You can get a sweet and a savory, smaller crepe.

Her brother, Matty Funes, has gained a TikTok following for visiting and rating local restaurants. How did his social media presence impact Avalanche’s opening?

It was great but it kind of makes me nervous because I like the videos [Matty] does in my restaurant, there are just so many comments. I’m just nervous about the grand opening because I don’t know how many people will come because he gets a lot of attention [TikTok]. I just don’t want to run out of food.

I was super blessed to have happened to [Matty] as my brother. In our videos it’s just like brother and sister; We are a small company. I like that my whole family is there for me and that Matt is really supportive.

Where do you hope to see Avalanche in five years?

I try to own at least three to four locations. I’m definitely, definitely, definitely going to spend a ton of money to go to Nashville. I want to end up in Tennessee, but maybe I’ll open a location in Louisville or another one near Cincinnati.

Avalanche Crepes & Waffles is scheduled to open in late June 2022. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for updates on the opening.

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