Michigan’s Best Local Dishes: Franky G’s Jamaican Restaurant Serves Authentic Jerk Chicken, Oxtail

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YPSILANTI, MI – Kay Gambles never thought of owning a restaurant.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Gambles to shut down her daycare business, she was drawn to food manufacturing.

“I didn’t have any money,” she said. “I had nothing.

Gambles said she spoke to God about the possibility of opening a restaurant.

“He said to me, ‘On to the next dream,’ said Gambles, who now owns Franky G.’s Jamaican Grill.

Gambles started by making food at home which she said was very well received. After distributing samples for two weeks, she produced a flyer which, combined with a few calls, garnered 40 orders.

Gambles officially launched its restaurant at the end of August. Menu highlights include jerk chicken, chicken curry, rasta pasta, and oxtail.

“It’s authentic Jamaican food,” Gambles said, adding that his father is Jamaican. “I cook it like my sister taught me to do.”

The restaurant is only take away.

“I never thought I would love to cook for a living, but I really enjoy it,” Gambles said.

Jamaican Franky G’s Restaurant, 97 Spring St. in Ypsilanti, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 734-905-7500 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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