Some Caribbean flair is coming to Owensboro by way of a new restaurant called Jamaican Yard Vibes. Featuring authentic Caribbean cuisine, the restaurant is expected to open next month on West Parrish Avenue across the street from Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn.
When Dwayne and Shanetha Whyte married in the summer of 2019, they offered cuisine at the wedding that highlighted his Jamaican heritage. The dishes were an instant hit, triggering several members of the community to suggest that they open a restaurant.
“When we got married, we had some food at the wedding that was well-received,” Dwayne Whyte said. “People were going crazy and kept asking when we were going to open a restaurant. That inspired us.”
After more encouragement from the community, the couple began operating out of their house, offering several catering options. Fast forward one year and they are now ready to begin offering lunch and dinner at their new location.
“Everything will be reasonably priced — we want everyone to try it,” Whyte said. “We will have some menu items for everyone. It’s the spices that make all the difference.”
The restaurant will feature jerk pork, rice and beans, steamed salad, cabbage, beef pattie on cocoa bread, and beef stew — all highlighted by their famous ox tail and jerk chicken.
Looking to incorporate some local flair, they will also be offering their own version of mutton.
“We have mutton in Jamaica but we prefer goat,” Whyte said. “I know Owensboro people like mutton so we’re going to offer curry mutton with white rice.”
Other staples of the menu include fried dumplings, rasta pasta, and whole fish which can come in the form of red snapper, ackee, and salt fish. The fish is offered both steamed or fried.
For more information on the new restaurant and to keep up with daily offerings, follow their Facebook Page.
“We’re excited,” Whyte said. “When you can cook for people and they enjoy your food, that makes you happy. We just want people to keep coming back.”