Jamaica’s Best Bar and Grill, a take-out Jamaican restaurant located at 10 Perkins Ave. in Brockton, opened a second location at 320 West Center St. in West Bridgewater Friday. The new location, which offers more of a dine-in experience, will also have live reggae music and game nights.
WEST BRIDGEWATER — With the opening of its second location Friday, Jamaica’s Best Bar and Grill is expanding its reach to bring authentic Jamaican food to the Brockton area.
With a bar, ample dine-in seating and a small stage for live reggae music, Jamaica’s Best owner Marsha James said the new 320 West Center St. location will not only be a spot for fresh Jamaican food, but also for a place for the community to come and gather to enjoy music and games.
“So far, we’re the only (Jamaican restaurant) like locally that have a bar and … the games on the weekend and stuff,” James, 41, said. “It’s something different. In the evening, it will be more of a hangout spot where everyone can come relax, unwind, laugh and dance.”
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James and her husband, Rich, opened their Brockton location at 10 Perkins Ave. about five years ago, she said. When she moved to Brockton after living in Jamaica most of her life, James said she was working in restaurants and, as a longtime cook, wanted to do things her own way. But it wasn’t until a former boss told her she would never be able to open her own restaurant that she started the hunt for a location, eventually finding their current Brockton spot.
“The longer we’ve been there, the better it is,” she said. “We have customers we know everything about them – their name, their face. We’re open six days a week and they come every single day.”
One of the keys to her food, which she described as like a “home-cooked, fresh meal,” is that she gets certain spices, seasonings and ingredients directly from Jamaica, she said.
“There is some stuff now that I don’t get it here to cook because I can get it (in the U.S.), but it doesn’t have the flavor,” she said. “There is a particular seasoning from Jamaica, it is here, but even if you smell it, it kind of smells like it, but it’s not the same.”
While the Brockton location is more take-out based, James said she has always wanted a location that offered a dine-in experience for customers. She had been looking for another spot for the last few years, she said, and it was her building manager at the Brockton location that found the spot in West Bridgewater — and right after walking in to check it out, she decided it was the spot she had been looking for.
The West Bridgewater menu – comprised of entrees like jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail and more – is mostly similar to the Brockton menu, she said, but they’ll be offering more fresh sides like baked potato, butter corn, steamed vegetables and beans, as well as steamed fish like snapper.
The restaurant offers a total of 89 seats divided into a bar side and the dining side, with a number of tables located in the dining side that, with a sliding barn door that can close the space off to the bar, can be used as a function room for events, James said.
Hours for the West Bridgewater location will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, with a plan to extend hours to 12 a.m. once they get the beer and wine license, she said. They’re also working on getting live reggae music, which they plan to start up once they have the beer and wine license on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, she said, as well as a fish fry every Friday and board game nights with Jamaican dominoes and Ludo.
“It’s going to be a place to really hangout on the weekend and after work,” she said. “It’s something different so come out, relax, enjoy live music like the Jamaican way.”
Staff writer Corlyn Voorhees can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org