Oak Cliff Eats

Oak Cliff attracts new restaurant set on Jamaican brunch and rum bar

Oak Cliff attracts new restaurant set on Jamaican brunch and rum bar

Island Spot, plantains
The Island Spot does authentic Jamaican food, including fried plantains. Photo courtesy of Island Spot

The fried plantains are heading south: The Island Spot, Carrollton's favorite Jamaican restaurant, is opening a second location in Oak Cliff. It'll go in the Jefferson Tower development, at the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Madison Avenue, with an opening planned for the end of the month.

Owner Richard Thomas, a native of Jamaica, says he chose Oak Cliff for its increasing popularity and its culturally diverse community. Synonymous with Jamaica's national motto, "Out of Many, One People," Thomas aspires to weave the inclusiveness of the Jamaican culture with not only The Island Spot customers, but to the neighborhood overall.

Thomas opened the original Island Spot, with its signature jerk chicken, in Carrollton in 2010. At the Oak Cliff branch, he's installing a key item to make it authentic: a wood-fire grill. His pimento wood and smoke techniques are similar to those found at Boston Bay Jerk Center in Jamaica, home of the original jerk chicken.

The restaurant will have a unique upstairs-downstairs setup that includes dining room, patio, and a signature rum bar. Thomas is dubbing it "the official Rum Bar destination" for Dallas-Fort Worth, with more than 25 unique Caribbean rums; rum flights; and specialty cocktails made with, guess what, rum.

"The Rum Bar is meant to provide guests with a journey through some of the best rums in the world," he says. "Whether new to rums or a rum connoisseur, the Rum Bar will give guests some of the most bold, unique rums to savor while sharing the Jamaican culture experience all at once."

There'll be Sunday brunch with a separate menu, offering diners the opportunity to get a unique Jamaican twist on brunch, with occasional live reggae music and the traditional relaxing ambiance of the islands.