Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Pepperwood Jerk spends $50 million on new Portmore restaurant

Published:Wednesday | August 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Jeremy McConnell, owner of Pepperwood, stands next to the sign at his Kingston restaurant on Monday, August 28, 2017.

Jeremy McConnell, who renamed his food service Pepperwood six months ago after operating as a Scotchies outlet for several years, is building a new restaurant in Portmore, St Catherine.

It will be the second Pepperwood and comes eight years after McConnell began operating at Chelsea Avenue in Kingston. The new brand was introduced in February.

McConnell said a third store is already in the works for opening in early 2018, but was not ready to disclose the location.

Pepperwood Portmore is scheduled to open by year end. It is being built "from scratch" on a 1.5-acre property. Both locations will be developed that way because of the production method for jerk, which includes the use of open fires, McConnell said. He also plans to replicate the "lush garden" and spacious dining areas in an open air setting that he has created at Pepperwood Kingston.

The restaurant operator says he is spending $50 million on the Portmore outlet, which is being built on space adjacent to the former Cactus nightclub in Port Henderson. The store will employ 45 workers.

"It is the most travelled route in Portmore," McConnell said, explaining his choice of location, which will be accessible to a population of around 600,000 in surrounding communities.

The restaurant, he said, would field his standard menu of jerk pork, chicken, sandwiches, sausages, roast fish, barbecued ribs, burgers, hot dogs, garden salad, wraps and sides inclusive of sweet potato, yellow yam, roast breadfruit, and three soups per day.

Prices will remain "industry standard" with $2,000 for a whole chicken and $2,200 per pound for pork. "Hopefully, the dollar does not move and affect prices," he said.