Cafe Society

First look: Jamaican Grill opens on the fringe of the Santa Fe Arts District

Denver lays claim to a lot of different cuisines, but the foods of the Caribbean, namely Jamaican, are woefully few and far between. But last week, in Lincoln Park, just on the fringe of the Santa Fe Arts District, a small storefront called Jamaican Grill opened on Eighth Avenue in a former weed dispensary. And while at least one woman who walked in while was there could have could have possibly been stoned, the space is now enchantingly permeated with the exotic spices that rub the jerk chicken, the sweet scent of caramelized plantains and the perfume of rum-spiked cocktails. The color-washed walls are devoted to Bob Marley memorabilia; a stunning, hand-painted mural of reggae musicians, including Queen Ifrica, surface nearly the entirety of one of those walls; and the chairs and tables are tinged a bright lime green. Reggae tunes pulsate from the speakers, and the back bar is as good a place as any to imagine yourself on an island with a parrot on your shoulder and hurricane in your hand. Jamaican Grill, which is family owned, is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner; happy hour goes from 5 to 8 p.m. daily.

Here's a first look at the quarters, the menu and the food.

See also: First look: Iain Chisholm's DADA Art Bar opens next Friday