By Wil Crews 
Opelika Observer 

The flames of the pandemic seem to burn ever brighter. However, that’s not cooling down Opelika’s newest restaurant.

Twice Baked, a BBQ restaurant that specializes in twice baked potatoes –– and of course a variety of smoked meats –– is opening in downtown Opelika on Railroad Avenue, next to Jefferson’s. 

After occupying a location by the Goal Post Package Store in Auburn since August 2018, owner Joseph Shorter says he made the move to Opelika to expand the restaurant’s capacity. “We can have more than just the college kids, it’s for everyone,” Shorter said. 

The new location, surrounded by delicious eateries such as Niffer’s, Irish Bread Bub and more, stands out because of its spacious dining room and various advertising messages written on the storefront windows. “Don’t be a hater, come get the taters,” could intrigue even the most skeptical of customers. 

The restaurant is stocked with a conveniently placed bar, which Shorter says is slated to be operational in about a month, and an adjacent stage, where Shorter plans to host live musicians, Fortnite tournaments and other entertainment promotions. 

The menu consists of everything from Philly cheese steak, ribs, sloppy joe, wings and pulled pork, to the items after which the store is named –– their trademark twice baked potatoes. Additionally, there is a not-so-hidden secret that Twice Baked makes all their bread fresh and from scratch.  

Shorter says that the Twice Baked staff is following current COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. He asks customers to wear masks when entering the restaurant, but, if not, “it’s your fine,” Shorter said. 

 “My goal is to show other people that you can do what I can do, I’ve not always been this fortunate,” Shorter said. He added that he also wants to take the time to help people in the community and give back to those in need. “Another moral of mine, if you come in, you’re down and need someone to talk to, come up here to Twice Baked.” 

In short, the quality food offered at Twice Baked makes it worth a trip, but if that’s not enough, the humble and friendly staff are worth even more.