Caribbean restaurant Mobay Cafe arrives in Walker’s Point, Milwaukee


A restaurant called Mobay Cafe will serve dishes inspired by Jamaica and other islands in the Caribbean Sea in the old Chez Jacques building at Walker’s Point.

Mobay, which refers to Montego Bay in Jamaica, could open to the public as early as March at 1022 S. First St., after a smooth opening beginning in late February.

Restaurant owner Nadine Dixon, who is originally from Jamaica and has family in Panama and the Bahamas, said she wanted to include menu items from countries other than Jamaica. Dishes will also represent the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Puerto Rico.

“We try to bring different appetizers and flavors to the menu,” she said.

This includes Bahamian conch fritters, fried seafood dumplings with onion, green pepper and celery, and Jamaican salted fish fritters, seasoned with curry.

For main courses, diners can expect such platters as oxtail with rice and beans or white rice and steamed escabeche fish and served with vegetables.

Other main dishes include goat curry in a homemade sauce; Jamaican patties, with beef, chicken or vegetables; Roast chicken with Trinidadian curry, served as a wrap on flatbread; and Buttermilk Fried Chicken, fried on the stove rather than in a deep fryer.

The entrees should range between $ 8.99 and $ 15.99 for the oxtails.

The Mobay Cafe is trying to stock Caribbean beers and will offer house cocktails inspired by the islands.

Before the soft opening (scheduled for late February) and the official opening (late March), the restaurant will be getting a makeover.

Dixon describes the restaurant’s colors as “not dominant but very bright.”

“From the moment you walk in you’ll feel like you’re in a Caribbean restaurant,” she said, adding that a private dining room for around 20 diners will have a mural by Jamaican musician Bob Marley.

Mobay will have a cafe area next to the bar that will be a bit more casual than the rest of the restaurant, Dixon said. In the summer she plans to have sidewalk seating and use the large enclosed patio behind the restaurant.

The restaurant is expected to be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and open for brunch on Sunday, serving American fare for breakfast as well as Caribbean fare including banana pancakes and Jamaican callaloo, green vegetables seasoned with a boiled or fried dumpling. It will offer take-out and deliveries, and plans to start catering events later.

The building has been unoccupied for about a year. It housed the Mexican restaurant Cocina 1022 from April 2018 to February 2019; prior to that, he ran the French restaurant Chez Jacques from 2006 to 2016. The namesake of the restaurant Jacques Chaumet still owns the building.

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Contact food critic Carol Deptolla at [email protected] or (414) 224-2841, or through the Journal Sentinel Food & Home page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter at @mkediner or Instagram at @mke_diner.


Michael M. Tomlin