Yahso Jamaican Grille, a new Jamaican restaurant, opened May 10, 2019, on Main Street in Keene, New Hampshire. The new eatery is located inside the Walpole Creamery. Gail Somers, the co-owner of Yahso Jamaican Grille reports that it is fully open for business with her son, co-owner Andre Clayton, serving as the on-site operator. Somers says she will be there on weekends and on some evenings, “helping out.” The mother-and-son duo has been cooking at events in the past and received very positive feedback from diners on their Jamaican cuisine. According to Somers, Clayton was looking for the chance to become an entrepreneur, so when a space became available inside the Walpole Creamery, they decided to make their move into the restaurant business. Both Somers and Clayton are residents of Keene. Somers is a native of Jamaica, and while Clayton was born in the United States, he has traveled to the Caribbean island and feels a strong connection to it.
In addition to serving stand-by dishes like jerk chicken, the restaurant’s menu includes a variety of rotating specials. These include curry goat, which is served on the weekends. The jerk chicken made at Yahso Jamaican Grille features a marinade made in-house. The dream is to offer bottles of their jerk sauce for sale at the restaurant and at some future time, on the shelves of retail establishments. Diners can select to “spice up” their dishes or take advantage of the milder options available, such as beef oxtail. Somers and Clayton provide these options for customers who may not be prepared for “Jamaican heat.” Side dishes include fried plantain and the options known as “mom’s mac-n-cheese.”
Somers explained that the word “Yahso” in the eatery’s name means “right here” in the language of Jamaica and is used to denote a particular place. With “yahso,” Somes and Clayton are saying, this is the right place to be; this is a place where fun things are happening, so “you definitely have to be here.”