Alabama’s first Black transgender-owned restaurant draws opening crowd of hundreds

Birmingham’s newest wing spot, Lady E’s Chick’n Cafe, is owned and operated by former hairstylist and reality star Lauryn England

A historic first and a lifelong dream were accomplished with the recent grand opening of Alabama’s first restaurant owned and operated by a Black, openly transgender woman.

Lady E’s Chick’n Cafe, owned by former hairstylist and reality TV star Lauryn England, opened doors in downtown Birmingham on March 26 to a hungry crowd of hundreds, as reported by Bham Now.

England, 27, said she is “grateful and honored” to have garnered such a strong turnout, accumulating a line of customers long enough to prompt the city to shut down Park Place street on which the restaurant is located, per the outlet.

The menu, featuring chicken wings, tenders and a selection of comfort food sides is viewable on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

An accomplished celebrity hairstylist for the likes of Keyshia Cole and K. Michelle, England also stars in the YouTube reality series “Just Lauryn.” 

She told Gaye Magazine that preceding her careers in beauty and television, the dream of opening a chicken restaurant was always something she kept in her sights.

“This is honestly mind-blowing to me because I have been manifesting all of my life to own a wing spot because I love chicken,” England told the outlet. “Even before hair or any of the things that people have seen me do, this has been one of my dreams I have always wanted to make come true.”

First announcing the news of her restaurant via Instagram earlier in February, England said that the profits from Lady E’s Chick’n Cafe will partially support the forthcoming kidney foundation she is opening with her father, who recently underwent kidney transplant surgery.

“My father and I are still deciding on a name for the foundation. I really want my dad to think of something that is meaningful for him,” England told Gaye.

The new restaurant’s historic opening comes as legislation restricting transgender rights continue to be pushed by Alabama lawmakers, drawing national criticism from advocates.

England told Gaye that she hopes to inspire others in the transgender community to be fearless in pursuit of accomplishing their dreams.

“For my trans sisters in the community, I just want them to know that we can do anything that we put our mind to because we often get overlooked and put in the shadow due to how we live our lives on a day to day basis,” she said.

“I want people all over the world, you don’t even have to be trans or in the LGBT community, but I want people to know that if we focus on ourselves and focus on every god given talent that was given to us there is nothing or anyone that can stop us,” she added. “We can only stop ourselves.”

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