knoxville news
knoxville news knoxville daily sun lifestyle business knoxville sports travel knoxville classifieds knoxville jobs knoxville legal notices knoxville yellow pages smoky mountains contact facebook twitter linkedin rss entertainment knoxville advertising

Babalu hosts pop-up taco shop in honor of young Knoxville resident

babalu knoxville
Ethan Woodruff (center) helps his sister, Kate, learn how to make tortillas with the help of Babalu Knoxville General Manager Dee Hust. Babalu Tapas & Tacos will host Ethan’s Taco Shop on March 22, and proceeds from the pop-up restaurant will help alleviate the cost of his ongoing therapy following a car accident.

KNOXVILLE - Ten-year-old Ethan Woodruff has overcome obstacles most children and even adults will never experience. When a tragic car accident left him with irreparable brain damage, Ethan’s mother, Beth, was unsure of what the future would hold for her son.


ethan woodruff
Ethan Woodruff creates his own dessert feature at Babalu Tapas & Tacos: a fried flour tortilla topped with Phoenix ice cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries, peanuts and mint. The special dessert will be sold throughout the day during Ethan’s Taco Shop on March 22.

The road to recovery has been formidable, but three years after his accident Ethan is making huge strides in regaining his independence. He is able to stand on his own for short periods of time and has regained his speech and ability to eat solid foods. He enjoys reading and spending time with friends. He works hard in school where he excels in social studies and science. While Ethan continues to defy the odds, a great deal of additional therapy still lies ahead –the cost of which can be financially burdensome.

On Wednesday, March 22, Babalu Tapas & Tacos will host Ethan’s Taco Shop. Proceeds from the all-day pop-up restaurant will help to alleviate the cost of Ethan’s ongoing therapy.

“I think everyone’s goal as a parent is to teach and love their kids into becoming the most kind, thoughtful, hardworking, loving and independent person they can become,” Beth Woodruff said. “We work pretty hard helping Ethan become as independent as he can. He still goes to therapy a couple times a week. We continually try new equipment and techniques.”

Babalu will donate $1 for every taco sold during Ethan’s Taco Shop. Ethan also was given the opportunity to create his own dessert feature — a fried flour tortilla topped with Phoenix ice cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries, peanuts and mint. The special dessert will be sold throughout the day.

“Everyone who has the opportunity to meet Ethan will be better for having met him,” said Babalu Knoxville General Manager Dee Hust. “Ethan has a smile that can really brighten a room and a heart of gold that seems to shine through in everything that he does. This is an opportunity for us to be able to help a child in need and to truly make someone's life better because of our actions.”

Located in downtown Knoxville, Babalu Tapas & Tacos serves authentic, gourmet tacos and Spanish style tapas with a Southern twist. To learn more about Babalu Knoxville, visit

Babalu Tapas and Tacos is a fun, one-of-a-kind, family-style dining experience. Founded in 2010 in Jackson, MS, the restaurant has quickly taken the Southeast by storm. All our Latin-inspired dishes – each with a unique Southern flare — are sure to bring people together. We pride ourselves on using hyper-local produce and products for our made-from-scratch dishes and handcrafted cocktails. Babalu is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eat Here Brands.

Published March 22, 2017

knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2017 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy