Jerk Soul Is Serving Caribbean Food, with Notes of Chicago, in Hyde Park

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Ellie Woods and Zahra Spencer were on the cusp of understanding their eating place desires within the U.S. Virgin Islands. They had planned it all out at some stage in the course of their now not-quite 12 months-lengthy courtship: He would circulate from his local Chicago to sign up for her in St. Thomas, wherein they would launch a brunch spot focused on chook and waffles. They had a menu deliberate, a perfect beachside area, and a plane price ticket booked for Woods. Then, Irma struck.

“I’d been there for most effective one week before Irma,” Woods recalls, regarding the devastating Hurricane Irma, which destroyed much of the U.S. Virgin Islands in September 2017, inclusive of their now not-but-open eating place. “We went via the storm together, and then my own family changed into trying me to get returned. Zahra stayed due to the fact her family was there, and I evacuated by using a boat to Puerto Rico because it became the handiest airport open at the time.”

Not far behind Irma, however, became Hurricane Maria, a hurricane that leveled Puerto Rico. Woods turned aware of the impending storm; however, he did no longer know how to get out till a friend from St. Louis helped him get a flight again to the U.S. Mainland. He changed into the remaining one out before the hurricane.

Instead of returning to Chicago, Woods stayed along with his buddy in St. Louis, targeted on reuniting with Spencer. The pair nonetheless desired to open an eating place, however now that the islands have been devastated, they knew they couldn’t do it in St. Thomas. Something informed him to begin searching St. Louis for space. Within three days, he’d discovered a completely renovated eating place awaiting its first tenant in the middle of the Hyde Park community. Immediately, he knew it changed into the proper match.