Jamrocks, the Bradenton area's top destination spot for genuine Jamaican cuisine and live music for five years before closing in February, will be reopening soon mere blocks from its previous location on West Manatee Avenue. The only difference, really, is the name. Lovers of jerk chicken, rum-based libations and live reggae music will be congregating at Jamaica Breeze Restaurant & Lounge.
"My wife got the name 'Jamrocks' in the divorce," owner Rodney Willliams says, with a smile, in between sips of Guinness at Jamaica Breeze. "But now I'm a free man."
Williams is joined at Jamaica Breeze by new business partner Vanessa Waisome. Both were born and raised in Jamaica. Aimee Donaldson, a familiar face to Jamrocks regulars, will be the bartender/manager.
Jamaica Breeze will celebrate its grand opening August 6 to coincide with the Caribbean island country's Independence Day. But lovers of all things jerk plus curry chicken, pork chop pineapple chutney and oxtail might be able to get their Jamaican fix a little earlier.
"We hope to be open in a couple weeks," Williams says, "maybe sooner."
Jamaica Breeze will be open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 11 a.m. with live music every Friday and Saturday. Just like at Jamrocks, the full liquor bar will offer daily drink specials. There will also be lunch specials priced at $5.99. The atmosphere remains Jamaica cozy with indoor and outdoor seating.
"I didn't know how much people loved Jamrocks until we closed and moved here," Williams says. "I love all the people who've supported us through the rough times and now the good times are coming."
Jamaica Breeze Restaurant & Lounge; 420 67th St. W., Bradenton; 896-9900; jambreeze.com