Tue | Jan 31, 2023

JoJo's Jerk Pit & More

Published:Saturday | March 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Patrice Reis, a native of Brazil, soothes the JoJo's crowd in Portuguese to the sounds of Seretse Small on guitar.
If you're into big sandwiches with even bigger flavour, the Philly cheese steak is a mouthful and a must-try at JoJo's.
Surf and turf, JoJo's style!

Whether it's to blow off some steam after work or just to catch up with friends Jamaicans are always looking for a new place to hang out. With so many options, where do you choose? Let Saturday Life give you the facts to help you find your new spot. This week's spot is JoJo's Jerk Pit and More.

Elisabeth Salmon, Gleaner Writer

What started off 10 years ago as a small, organic farm market has evolved into one of Kingston's premier night eateries.

JoJo's has managed to move from lunchtime sandwiches for staff and weekend cookouts with friends to a well-oiled establishment which has created a master blend of cost-effective street food alongside gourmet cuisine for its eclectic customers.

Dishing up menu items like mackerel run down and steamed callaloo for breakfast, Greek salads, stew peas and oxtail for lunch, and lamb burgers and lobster for dinner has allowed JoJo's to maintain versatility.

JoJo's current success was forerun by an unexpected grand championship win at the Jack Daniel's All-Jamaican Grill-Off in 2009, which led to its participation in the auspicious Kansas City 30th Annual American Royal Barbeque in the United States.

Despite the well-earned bragging rights of its jerked meats, the pit stays true to its humble 'come-as-you-are' backyard vibe by offering bucket seating under trees and subtle background music amid easy conversation. JoJo's stays ahead of the game with more than just its food, hosting live music every Saturday from 7-10 p.m. with artistes. Entertainers like Wayne Armond, Seretse Small and Black Zebra have already graced the stage.

Sure to build up a thirst as you sing along to the tunes, JoJo's serves up wines, cues of rum and vodka, as well as a bevy of local beers. If non-alcoholic beverages are more your speed, JoJo's natural juices like June plum, coconut and guava, made fresh every day and chilled to perfection, are a must.

Co-owners Anna and Paul Chin credit their full house to quality control, caring staff and the relaxed environment.

JoJo's venue is available for rental to host office parties and other small events on Sundays to Wednesdays.

Email feedback to saturdaylife@gleanerjm.com.  

  • Quick Facts

Dress code: casual (jeans, T-shirts and button-downs

Music: oldies ('70s and '80s classics); live music on Saturdays

Wireless Internet available


Parking: 3 out of 5

Accessibility: 3 1/2 out of 5

Ambience: Unassuming and natural

Highly recommended drink: watermelon juice - a real delicate thirst quencher

... Food: Philly cheese steak - the tender slices of lean-cut beef topped with melted cheese, onions and crisp red and green bell peppers, all on toasted French bread, makes for a hearty entrée option. One try and you're sure to be hooked to this US East Coast classic.

Ideal for: a casual business lunch.

  • General info

JoJo's Jerk Pit and More is located at 12 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10.

Opening hours: Thursdays to Saturdays, noon to 10 p.m. (for dining)

Mondays to Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (breakfast and lunch take-out only)

Telephone: 906-1509 or 906- 1612

Website: www.jojosjerkpit.com