South Florida is rich with Jamaican culture and heritage, and it’s no wonder, considering the region is home to the second-largest Jamaican population in the U.S. Now, with the upcoming debut of Jrk! in Treats Food Hall, Aventura is about to get an authentic taste of Caribbean flavor—with a twist.
Founded by Harrison Bernstein, Wayne Sharpe, and Kavan Burke, Jrk! is set to open in just a couple of short weeks. The eatery will offer an elevated take on fast-casual Jamaican cuisine, utilizing time-honored practices and ingredients with a wellness-based approach that is truly one of a kind.
“South Florida has a large Caribbean population, but there are not a lot of Caribbean options in Aventura,” said Head Chef Sharpe, a Jamaica native who has years of experience founding and running Caribbean restaurants throughout the country. “Jamaican food is very popular generally, and if you make it available, people will come to enjoy it!”
The Jrk! menu is bowl-based, providing customers with endless possibilities in terms of mixing and matching the eatery’s bold flavors. Customers will be able to build dishes with fragrant, complex spices, including thyme, scallion, scotch bonnet pepper, coconut, and Jrk!’s house-made jerk seasoning and sauce. Among the wide selection of toppings is the pineapple mango salsa, for which Burke insists customers will “go crazy.”
Bowls can be built with various proteins enhanced with Caribbean seasoning, including jerk and curried chicken and seafood. Jrk! will also offer vegan meat substitutes, all infused with Caribbean flavor.
“I wanted to bring Jamaican food to the masses in a modern, healthy and more sustainable way, while still remaining true to its traditional flavors and influences,” said Bernstein.
Succulent side choices include yuca (cassava) sticks, classic rice and peas, plantains, and tangy cabbage slaw, as well as Jamaican patties—which are made from scratch daily. Customers will also be surprised to find some fusion cuisine, such as the eatery’s signature Jerk Fried Rice and Jerk Quinoa.
“Jamaica is a small country, but our culture very robust,” said Burke, who was also raised in Jamaica. “Hospitality and cuisine are huge parts of the culture, and we are thrilled to let Aventura Mall visitors experience it firsthand.”
Visit Treats Food Hall to enjoy Jrk! Call (305) 935-1110 to learn more.