Popular San Antonio Caribbean restaurant the Jerk Shack moved from its original location in the West Side, which closed its doors in September 2021, to its new home at 10234 State Highway 151 in the Far West Side as of January 14.
That’s not all for owner and chef Nicola Blaque: she is also gearing up to expand the Jerk Shack restaurant even further with a second location in the works at downtown park redevelopment Hemisfair. The expansion is aiming to open in the winter of 2023 at the Schultze House, a historic German-style home that was built in 1893.
The Jerk Shack, which opened in 2018, has garnered a large following for its Jamaican offerings, including jerk chicken, fried plantains, and braised oxtails. The restaurant quickly gained national attention, landing a spot on Eater’s Best New Restaurants of 2019.
This relocated new restaurant is serving much of its original menu while also leaving space on the bill for new dishes, like the recently added fried chicken. “We’re testing the market, seeing what’s doing well and what’s not doing well, and then going from there,” Blaque says.
This locale change was motivated by a need to provide better service to customers and to accommodate Jerk Shack’s employees. The former location at 117 Matyear Street lacked air conditioning, a huge problem considering San Antonio’s notoriously hot summers. It was also much smaller than the brand-new building where the restaurant now resides, which has plenty of indoor seating and the capability to add a drive-thru, something the restaurant will incorporate once operations are at full capacity.
Blaque kicked off her restaurant’s grand reopening to an abundance of support from the Jerk Shack’s dedicated diners. “We had lines like true ‘Jerk Shack’ fashion, with people wrapping the building,” she tells Eater. “They love the food, and they’re here for us.”
Blaque isn’t the only local restaurant owner to set up shop in the Far West Side. Camille and Adrian De Los Reyes, owners of Sari-Sari Filipino Market & Bakery, recently opened Sari-Sari Supper Club in the same development. Tia’s Taco Hut, a San Antonio chain, also planted a new location in the same area. “It’s just another dynamic to how San Antonio is changing. By us being over here, the Far West Side is growing tremendously. People from all cultures are opening up,” says Blaque.
The Jerk Shack is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The restaurant has counter-style service for those dining in and to-go options, which can be placed in person or online.