Popular Caribbean restaurant and Eater 38 member the Jamaican Pot is expanding to New Center. The Eight Mile-based carryout restaurant plans to open a second location in the New Center One building (3031 W Grand Blvd) located across the street from the Fisher Building, according to an announcement posted to Facebook on May 10.
The Jamaican Pot is one of a small contingent of Jamaican restaurants thriving in Northwest Detroit. Husband and wife team chef Rose Forrest aka Mama Rose and Bruce Cunningham opened their first Jamaican restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, more than a decade ago. After moving to Detroit, the pair hosted pop-ups inside bars and culinary centers in Southfield and Detroit, before established their first Detroit location at 14615 West 8 Mile Rd. in June 2014. Since then, the pint-sized strip mall establishment has developed a loyal following for dishes like jerk chicken and curry goat. Diners can pair their meals with drinks like Kola Champagne and ginger-honey Island Farm juice. The restaurant offers options for vegetarians and uses halal meat.
The new Jamaican Pot will be located in the terrace area food court on the second floor of the New Center One building in a space formerly home to Papa Romanos, co-owner Bruce Cunningham tells Eater. The pair plan to focus on takeout at first, but aren’t ruling out the possibility of eventually transitioning into a sit-down location. The menu may also be adjusted slightly for faster service in order to accommodate people eating during their lunch hour.
Cunningham and Forrest had been searching for opportunities to grow their business for some time now but settled on New Center after a customer suggested the location. “This particular area is pretty hot for us and because we already do Guest Services,” Cunningham says, referring to the Jamaican Pot’s business catering for corporate offices in Detroit. Beyond New Center, Cunningham is also considering other possibilities for expansion. “I’ve actually got my eye on our first sit-down” location in Novi, he says. The specific address has not been finalized yet, although he has a property in mind near the Emagine Theatre.
New Center has continued to attract more restaurant and business investment over the last several years, but in the past few months development in the area appears to have reached a fever pitch. Several new restaurants including Wilda’s and Woodpile BBQ Shack are set to join more established spots like New Center Eatery later this year. The owners of Cass Corridor’s Selden Standard confirmed in December plans to open a high-end Mediterranean restaurant in the area. The opening of a second outpost of the Jamaican Pot only adds to that growing excitement.
If all goes well with the buildout, the Jamaican Pot is hoping to open in New Center in early July. Stay tuned for updates as the project moves forward.
Update, May 11, 10:29 a.m.: This story has been updated with more information from co-owner Bruce Cunningham.