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Brian Rainey, owner of the new Calypso Grill and Smokehouse at 1535 Xenia Avenue, at a its renovated bar.

Caribbean fare featured at Calypso Grill

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Yellow Springs’ newest restaurant, the Calypso Grill and Smokehouse, opens Thursday, March 22. A venture of experienced local restaurateur Brian Rainey, owner of the Sunrise Café in downtown Yellow Springs, the new spot will feature Caribbean and other Latin American fare.

Rainey, who has been cooking professionally for more than 20 years, told the News he became obsessed with the idea of jerk chicken ever since he went on vacation a couple of years ago in the Cayman Islands.

“I met a guy who had a roadside jerk chicken stand,” he said in a recent interview. “And ever since then I wanted to bring it to Yellow Springs. It was kind of a dream.”

Beyond its signature jerk chicken dish, the menu features fried plantains, beans and rice, empanadas, Cayman-style shrimp, Jamaican brown stew and more. Regional delicacies from the islands of the Caribbean are complimented by select dishes from Colombia, Brazil, Cuba and other countries. And libations to pair with food include mojitos, margaritas, piña coladas, daquiris, caipirinhas and more.

The new decor features bright island colors with a beach-themed mural behind the bar.

“It’s like a bright, lazy Caribbean day,” Rainey said of the new look.

Located at 1535 Xenia Avenue, the Calypso Grill is in  a building that has seen much turnover in recent years. In the past decade, it has been home to KFC, CJ’s Southern Cookin’, Drive-Thru Buffet, Artistic Delirium Tattoo and Piercing and Doña Margarota’s.

Rainey is leasing the building from Tony Avalos, who operated a Mexican restaurant there for the last two years.

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