Erath Mayor Taylor Mencacci and his wife, Amy, recently restored an old storefront in their Vermilion Parish town to open a coffee and doughnut shop as part of a number of eateries that have opened in the parish recently despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Mencacci, who said when he took office two years ago that the town lacked food options, opened the Café Erath next to the Acadian Museum at 102 E. Edwards St.

“We brought this business to Erath, the community we love, in order to facilitate a meeting place for citizens of all ages,” he said. “As mayor of Erath, it is also a goal to bring business to our community to help generate more sales tax for our town and parish.”

Other eateries in the parish have opened in recent months, said Anne Falgout with the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance, including:

  • The Grub Lot, a food truck park at 126 Old Railroad Road in Erath, that features a large parking area that offers rental space at daily, weekly or monthly rates along with utility hookups. Kenny Simmons created the space to “provide locals with a great diversity of food options and a one-stop shop experience,” he said. Kevin Colomb opened Pinchers, a boiled seafood food truck, as the first to move to the lot.
  • Calabria Italian Restaurant of New Iberia will open an Abbeville location at 124 Concord St.
  • King’s Seafood Express, also based in New Iberia, has opened an Abbeville location.
  • The Choc’Lit Shoppe, an old-fashioned candy and ice cream shop at 122 N. Cushing Ave. in Kaplan, opened last month. It also features arcade games, a carousel and live entertainment.

“Vermilion Parish is known around Acadiana as a place where you can find an amazing meal,” Falgout said. “But no one could’ve predicted the immediate success of these new establishments. We’re thrilled that even a global pandemic couldn’t stop these Cajuns’ pursuit of their dreams, and the residents of our communities will ultimately see the benefits.”

Originally published in The Acadiana Advocate, 3/10/21