Business of the Month: Palm Bay’s JamRock Grill Offers Authentic Jamaican and Caribbean Fare
Hungry for a taste of the Caribbean right here in Palm Bay, or maybe you’ve always wanted to try traditional favorites like Jerk Chicken or Pork, Curried Goat of Chicken, Oxtail, and then wash it down with one of Jamaica’s traditional sodas or juices? Then you should definitely try Palm Bay’s JamRock Grill, a casual restaurant with a laid back and friendly Caribbean vibe, where you can find all of your favorites and maybe discover some new ones. We spoke with JamRock’s owners Garth and Michelle Williams via telephone to learn more about them and their restaurant.
What brought you to Palm Bay?
“We were in Washington D.C. and we wanted a better place for our kids to grow up. My wife’s family was here, and when I visited, I fell in love with Palm Bay! And I knew this was a good place to do business,” Garth said.
Where did the idea for JamRock come from?
“We opened a music venue called Sugar Kane Lounge, and I grew tired of the party scene, and I had always wanted to open a place where people could come and enjoy good, authentic jamaican food. So I went back to the drawing board and we opened JamRock.” Garth explained.
Tell us about your menu, which items are most popular, and if there are any secret or family recipes?
Mr Williams explained that he’s always loved cooking and that all of the recipes are his own that he has put together over the years. Michelle added, “The most popular item we’re doing right now is the Jerk Chicken. Garth loves to grill, and we put the chicken on the grill outside so it gets that smokiness and tastes just like the chicken you would get in Jamaica. And people love our signature rum punch.” “I do the chicken on authentic Jamaican Jerk drum like it’s supposed to be, and the oxtail and the Curry Chicken are popular, too. The restaurant is a few blocks from Winn-Dixie, and people walking to Winn-Dixie smell the chicken and come into the restaurant!” Garth said.
How would you describe the vibe/atmosphere of JamRock Grill?
“The vibe is a love vibe, the colors are the colors of the Jamaican flag, and I love the look of wood, and it’s pretty much my design. The atmosphere is really good, and when you walk into JamRock you just feel love, and we get a lot of compliments on our customer service,” Mr. Williams said. Said Mrs. Williams, “Our daughter is our head cashier and she is really good at customer service, which we really strive for. We want people to leave smiling.”
What’s running a business in Palm Bay like, have you been well received by the community?
Garth answered, “I love my community and Palm Bay is a great place to run the kind of business that I am running. The people that I meet, all kinds of people from different cultures, and I get to talk to them, that’s really special for me. So yes, Palm Bay is definitely a great place for the kind of business we have. The majority of our clients are not from the Caribbean, we have a very diverse clientele.”
You opened your current location in July of 2020, during the heart of COVID. What was that like?
“It actaully gave me a lot of time to think and reflect on my plan. We were going so fast before the pandemic and then the pandemic hit really slowed us down. The slow time really helped to clear my mind and focus on the plan and the things that I could control,” Mr. Williams explained.
What’s in the future for JamRock Grill?
Garth explained. “We definitely want to expand and put in a full bar in, maybe bring in Caribbean comedians and bands for live entertainment, and we really want to turn this into a Caribbean sports bar where folks can come in and watch their soccer or football or cricket or whatever, and drink some beer and shoot some pool. We want to expand what we offer so people will want to come for a happy hour and just enjoy themselves, maybe have some rum punch and good food. When I get this one just the way we want it, we definitely want to open the next location and we are thinking about franchising.”
160 Malabar Rd SW
Palm Bay, FL 32907