The Jamaican restaurant Mr. Brown’s Lounge has been listed as one of the best black-owned restaurants in Chicago. Located on Wacker Place, Mr. Brown’s Lounge gives Chicago diners the opportunity to indulge their fantasies of traveling to Jamaica and having a tropical island experience without ever leaving the city. Here, guests can partake of authentic Jamaican jerk chicken while listening to the sounds of reggae music. The restaurant features bright, tropical Caribbean décor with an ambiance to match, and its large portions and “soul-centric” events every Friday make a perfect place to visit with friends. Mr. Brown’s Lounge provides a joyful escape from the daily routine, a feeling that can be extended by the restaurant’s offering of take-home cuisine. Mr. Brown’s Lounge features the talents of its co-owner and executive chef Chris Douglas, who emigrated from Jamaica to Chicago, bringing his family recipes with him. He was joined in the restaurant endeavor by Terry Meghie and his wife Carrie when they launched the eatery in 2009. Their goal is to provide authentic Jamaican dishes, cultural experiences, and nightlife. The hope is that everyone who visits the venue will enjoy themselves and feel happy, or “irie” as they say in Jamaica.
The restaurant’s name is a reference to the 1970s reggae hit “Mr. Brown” by Jamaica’s Bob Marley and The Wailers. The song tells the story of a ghost, or “duppy,” who travels on a three-wheeled coffin with three vultures (John Crows) as companions. One of the crows has the ability to speak but only keeps asking for “Mr. Brown”.
The signature dish at Mr. Brown’s Lounge is the jerk chicken that has been marinated overnight and slow-cooked on a grill over a charcoal fire. The restaurant offers the jerk chicken as a sandwich or as a platter entrée with rice & peas, steamed cabbage, and plantains. Jerk seasoning will be added to most dishes upon request, including on its grilled chicken wings, mac-and-cheese “Island-style,” burgers, and even filet mignon. Many of the menu items are available late-night with bar snacks like plantains and coco bread. Mr. Brown’s Lounge serves excellent cocktails as well, including tropical drinks like Pina Colada Island Rum Punch and an “N’Fashion,” which involves bourbon, pineapple juice, bitters, house jerk sauce, and black cherries. Red Stripe beer is available as are local brews from Goose Island and Two Brothers. Several red and white wines are offered by the glass or bottle.