Irie Bar & Grille, Wrigleyville’s new Jerk chicken paradise, is hosting a grand opening this Saturday, April 1. Get your jerk on! Chicago only houses a few Jerk restaurants, and this new addition is a boon to the Lakeview and Wrigley neighborhoods.
Jerk cooking is a Jamaican style of cooking that involves dry rubbing or wet marinating meat with a special blend of aromatic seasoning. It’s then grilled or smoked. Chicken is the main staple of jerk cuisine, but pork and goat are also popular. Like Jamaica, Jerk food is a melting pot of cultures and flavors. Elements of the flavor mimic West African cuisine, while the cooking method points to indigenous american roots. Most of Chicago’s West Indian presence is focused in the far south Chatham neighborhood, making the arrival of Irie Bar & Grille’s spicy, tangy jerk cuisine in Wrigleyville super special. I couldn’t help but stop by, and when my friends found out where I was going, they came too.
There’s nothing like the feeling that you’re eating a home cooked meal when you’re out at a restaurant- and that’s exactly what Irie Bar & Grille did for me. I wanted to stick with the basics for my first time trying jerk, so I went for the standard entree order of jerk chicken. Every meal comes with two sides–big wins–and the plantains and mac & cheese are to DIE for. To round out our meal, the friendly staff treated us all to rum punch. Definitely a great way to keep us happy! Best part? Not only is this spot delicious, but budget friendly too. It’s like Irie Bar & Grille read my mind (and presumably yours). If eating chicken isn’t your thing, fret not, there are multiple vegetarian options on the menu and with the wide selection you won’t be going hungry.
From the moment you walk in, the waitresses are more than happy to make your visit a memorable one, and the owner even came out to meet our crew. Feels like Irie Bar & Grille is trying to bring a little piece of Jamaica to our corner of the city!
The Grand Opening promises to be a great event, with live music, festive rum punch, and of course, some delicious jerk. Make sure to come check it out before Cub season crawls in!
Irie Bar & Grille (and its full-service bar) is located at the intersection of Clark, Sheffield and Roscoe.