Southern California-born Roll-Em-Up Taquitos, the fast-growing, street casual concept known for its savory hand-rolled and pan-fried taquitos, will be opening its first restaurants in the southeastern US, with locations in both Louisville, Kentucky and Knoxville, Tennessee – including one just minutes from the University of Tennessee campus. Local entrepreneurs Nirav, Jiya and Vimal Patel are leading the investment team that’s bringing the nation’s first and only taquito-centric restaurant to Louisville and Knoxville as part of the ten-store agreement that marks another step forward for the Roll-Em-Up Taquitos franchise.
Combined, the Patel team have successfully owned and operated numerous concepts in and around Louisville and Knoxville, including seven Dunkin’s, multiple Tropical Smoothie Cafés (including one under construction in Maryville, TN), and a Sky Zone. They are looking to open their first Roll-Em-Up Taquitos by Q4 of 2023.
“We are operators at heart, and know that food quality, concept simplicity and ease of execution win,” says Nirav Patel. “Roll-Em-Up Taquitos offers each of those, and as community members, we can’t wait to open up our first Knoxville restaurant so that local residents can get a taste of the best, most craveable taquitos they’ve ever had.”
Using a treasured family recipe, each Roll-Em-Up taquito starts with a fresh tortilla (corn or flour), hand-rolled and filled with citrus-marinated chicken, braised shredded beef, potatoes with green chilis, and freshly-grated, Monterrey jack cheese. The taquitos are then fried in a giant proprietary cast iron pan until crispy and golden brown, then topped with any one of Roll-Em-Up’s house-made sauces, including its signature Lit Sauce.
“Along with being elite operators and overall wonderful people, one thing that stood out to us was how Nirav, Jiya and Vimal thrived through hard work and dedication during the pandemic,” says Sam Fonseca, chief operating officer at Roll-Em-Up. “We’re thrilled to support them as they bring this fantastic concept to their hometown.”