Named after the iconic reggae song by Bob Marley, the new One Love Jamaican Restaurant has opened in the former location of the Toledo International Market on Central Avenue. The restaurant offers excellent Caribbean cuisine at reasonable prices, but what sets the eatery apart from the competition is the taste, says owner George Cross. He explains that Jamaicans are very particular about the tastes they bring to the public, and he vouches for the authentic nature of all the choices on his menu.
Cross was born in Jamaica, but has lived in Toledo for 30 years. His wife Marlene Chybar-Cross was the driving force behind the idea to open One Love Jamaican Restaurant. The couple started preparing take-out meals for people at their home until they save enough to open at a separate location, she said. Once they found the right location, they owned it for almost a year before opening the eatery on October 28, 2020. Marlene does the cooking, and George takes care of the dishes, cleaning, and more.
The restaurant’s décor features the colors of Jamaica with its yellow and green on the walls and Jamaican flags prominently displayed throughout, as are many posters and photos of reggae legend Bob Marley. Its main dining area has four tables capable of seating 16 diners, although due to the COVID-19 pandemic, One Love Jamaican Restaurant is only providing takeout service for now.
The menu includes Jamaican favorites like Jerk Chicken, which comes with rice and beans. The portions were very generous, and several diners can share a medium-sized order of the dish. Diners can also obtain bottled beverages like Jamaica’s top flavored water CranWATA at One Love. In addition to the Jerk Chicken, the restaurant offers Red Snapper and Ox Tail.
Strict social distancing guidelines are imposed for the food pickup, and everyone must wear a mask upon entry. Cross said his customers have been very respectful of the guidelines.
Cross is hoping that customers will take away some love and respect for Jamaica’s culture and cuisine after partaking of One Love’s dishes. “We hope that when they come in, the service that we provide, the hospitality and everything, they will first see that as, Jamaicans are hospitable. And then, after coming in and seeing the food that we provide, we hope that when they leave, they leave with a taste that, ‘Wow, this is so great!’”
One Love Jamaican Restaurant is located at 2636 W. Central Ave. in Toledo. It is open from 11am-8:30pm, Monday-Thursday, and from 10am-5:30pm, Friday and Sunday. It is closed on Saturday.
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