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Jerky Jerk Brings Taste of Jamaica to Devon Avenue

By Benjamin Woodard | April 12, 2013 6:35am

EDGEWATER — Jerky Jerk, specializing in jerk chicken, joins the ranks of an eclectic smattering of neighborhood restaurants on the south side of Devon Avenue.

The little slice of Edgewater, home to Star Grill, Habibi Middle Eastern Cuisine and Nori Sushi — and not far from a newly opened Papa John's — might now suffice all the neighborhood's takeout needs.

One thing is for sure: The three self-described "jerks" at 1217 W. Devon Ave. are making loads of jerk chicken.

"It's the spices," said Marlon Reid, 35, who calls himself and his two business partners, Nisar Muzaffar and Yohance Brown, the "three jerks," branding that's proudly displayed on the restaurant's menu.

Reid, who also owns the nearby K & M Auto Body, said he and his partners, who all live in Rogers Park, got sick of the same takeout food, over and over again.

And, the native of Jamaica said, he'd have to go to Howard Street to find an acceptable plate of jerk chicken with rice and beans.

"We got sick of the food," he said. "There needed to be something else besides pizza."

Most of the restaurant's orders are for takeout or delivery.

Since opening at the end of February, he said he's delivered to costumers downtown and even to the South Side of the city. They happily pay the $20 delivery charge that's tacked on to their order, he said.

While Jerky Jerk's main dish is jerk chicken, Reid also serves mac and cheese, chicken stew and curried goat.

"Right now we're just a little take out place," he said, but he envisioned expanding into one of the neighboring storefronts eventually.

With the opening of Papa John's, and with Starbucks' plans to open a location at the corner of Devon Avenue and North Broadway, Reid said Jerky Jerk is in good company.

"We have good neighbors," he said.