Thursday, February 01, 2007

A New Menu

People who see the bold black, yellow and green décor – the colors of the Jamaican flag – think Desmond Nembhard is offering only island fare in his new restaurant.

But a look at the menu reveals a wide choice of subs, salads, wraps and desserts as well as his fresh-baked Jamaican patties.

“It’s a combination of everything,” Nembhard explains.

He has named his restaurant “Juccie Subs – Tastie Salads.”

The restaurant and take-out place at 108 East Seventh Street opened in December after about six months of work to get the setting and equipment just right. Nembhard arrives an hour or more before opening to bake the patties, cookies and fresh bread for the subs. But he doesn’t have a long commute – he lives just blocks away in the Crescent Area Historic District.

Maria Pellum, who recently organized a block association in the district, is a supporter of the new venture and Nembhard says it is word of mouth that so far has been his best advertising.

“He lives and has his business in the neighborhood and he has made sure to have a neat, clean place for all, freshly baked bread included. I find that refreshing and good for our neighborhood and going hand in hand with what the neighborhood association is trying to do,” Pellum said.

For a limited time, he is offering free delivery locally and has built up a clientele among the hungry lunch crowd at City Hall, in Plainfield schools and among public safety workers.

Nembhard, 35, worked at a Blimpie’s when he first arrived from Jamaica 15 years ago, giving him an exposure to the ravenous demand here for take-out food. But he stresses his restaurant is not a franchise.

“I developed everything myself,” he says.

The result of his thinking and planning is “a sub shop with an island taste,” he says.

When the weather turns warm, he will be adding jerk chicken to the menu, cooking it outside in the traditional way.

His location near the city’s center at Park Avenue and Seventh Street places him in competition with a dozen or more take-out places of varying ethnicities, but Nembhard is confident he has something new. And novelty is what take-out success is all about.

--Bernice Paglia


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