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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Jamaican eatery to spice up Peace Plaza

Jamaican eatery to spice up Peace Plaza

A new restaurant is moving into the spot formerly home to Mac’s Cafe.

The Jerk King, already with five locations in Canada, has plans to take over the prime Peace Plaza space at 20 1st Street SW. Renovations are already under way, with preliminary plans to open the restaurant by Christmas.

The concept is known for its Jamaican jerk chicken, along with other Caribbean-style offerings. Johnson Osei, president of the Jerk King, said by phone Monday that they also plan to mix in standard American fare on the menu. The 11,500-square foot space, he said, will have a small bar with a lineup of Jamaican cocktails, as well (expect a fair amount of rum).

This will be one of the chain’s first restaurants outside of Canada. Osei said they are also adding a couple locations in the Twin Cities metro.

He noted that while Rochester may be smaller than other areas they are considering for expansion, he believes the restaurant will be a good fit given the amount of people who visit the city from different parts of the world.

“I visited Rochester and just fell in love,” said Osei. “I thought, ‘this is definitely a place where want to have [a restaurant].’”

The build-out is expected to cost about $135,000, according to a permit filed with the city last week. The space has been empty since Mac’s closed late last year after more than a half century of business.

Cover photo by Med City Beat

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