Soon we’ll all be able to Eat at Panoptic’s new restaurant in Irondale

Chef Raquel Ervin
Chef Raquel Ervin is cooking up big plans. Photo via Chef Raquel

Back in June, award-winning chef Raquel Ervin opened up her Eat at Panoptic Food Truck to the sound of much rejoicing. Now she’s getting ready to open up a restaurant with the same name on Crestwood Boulevard in Irondale. Keep reading for all the details.

Meet Chef Raquel Ervin

Chef Raquel Ervin is a rising star
Chef Raquel Ervin of Eat at Panoptic, Food Network + The Cooking Channel fame. Photo via Chef Raquel

Chef Raquel Ervin‘s star is rising, and here in Birmingham we’ll be able to say we knew her when.

First there was a catering biz, back in 2014. She was on The Food Network in March 2019, and was slated to open a brick and mortar shop but COVID had other plans. So she did what everyone else did and pivoted, launching a food truck in July 2020. She’s been the Food Network and The Cooking Channel in addition to all the local shows and publications that have featured her.

And now, acccording to The BBJ, we can look forward to Eat at Panoptic, the restaurant—opening in early January 2021. One more reason to look forward to the year following 2020.

Two full-time managing chefs will be making sure everything is just so, while six full-time team members do double-duty in the food truck and at the cafe. We can’t wait!

“Gourmet fancy Southern with a twist” is how my colleague Irene Richardson described Panoptic

We reached out to Chef Raquel to find out what patrons could expect to find on the menu at her new cafe:

“I currently offer 9 specialty sliders and 3 gourmet sides on the food truck, but archived quite a few menu items in consideration of space. The cafe will allow me to introduce additional specialty sliders and gourmet sides.”

Chef Raquel Ervin

You’ll still be able to catch the food truck in Jefferson and Shelby County neighborhoods 👏🏼.

And you’ll be able to make an event of eating Chef Raquel’s tasty eats by heading out to the intimate cafe in Irondale.

“For my first space, I preferred a small intimate atmosphere where I am able to be personable with customers. I remember walking in during the tour and immediately having a vision for what it could become. The cafe will have a vintage old school feel with a modern twist.”

Chef Raquel Ervin

Irondale is about to get better

Team Panoptic will soon be opening a new restaurant in Irondale
Team Panoptic helps make the magic happen. Photo via Eat at Panoptic’s Facebook page

Back before COVID, we wrote about some great places to get food in Irondale. Once Panoptic comes, there will be even more options. Here’s why Chef Raquel is excited about the location:

“I wanted to be in an area where my menu would stand out and bring something new and innovative.

Just to see how elated the people of Irondale and those who work in the area are on various social media groups has me overjoyed.

Having gone through years of building-hunting along with the challenges brought on by the pandemic, I am grateful to be able to expand during this time.

As I am in the preparation phase following the grand opening of my food truck this summer, I have an unexplained happiness in the simple fact that the Waymaker has done it again.”

We can’t wait! If you want to follow Chef Raquel’s journey, visit her website or follow Eat at Panoptic on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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