WORCESTER — After almost a year in business, Unique Café has closed its doors, but the women at the helm of the Jamaican eatery formerly located on Millbury Street said they hope to have a contract for a new location by the end of the month.
Nadine James runs the Unique Café with her daughters, Kayanna James and Khaaliyah Watson.
The Jameses said they weren't given much time when they were told they would have to move, and while they quickly began looking for a new spot, the process has taken a bit longer than they had hoped.
The women plan to do pop-ups on Fridays; customers can call (774) 253-0955 to order on Thursdays for Friday pickup. Callers will be provided the location for pickup. Unique Cafe will also deliver to folks who order through Devournow.com.
The women-owned business opened during the pandemic last March and still did well, Nadine James said.
The Jameses were recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Massachusetts Conference of Women, and said they will make good use of the funding in setting up a new place.
Kayanna James said the eatery fit nicely in the Millbury Street neighborhood, where they developed a regular following and noticed that word of mouth seemed to bring in many customers.
"It was a good first year for me," Nadine James said.
Part of the draw was the unique offerings of Jamaican foods coupled with American fare such as a salad bar.
Specials, listed daily, include items like porridge, curry goat, fried shrimp and seafood soup.
Juices and smoothies are also popular, the women said.
With the move, the family is hoping to find a location with more space and they want to consider what their customers would like to see, as well.
"We want to make sure that everyone who has been supporting us, is involved in this process. We’ll be asking you for ideas, your thoughts on aesthetics & etc!" they posted on their Facebook page. "We have a few menu changes and additions and we are excited to share with you in due time!"
Wherever they land, Nadine James said, one thing is sure: it won't be typical.
"I am Miss Unique," she said. "So it'll be unique."
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Unique Cafe on Millbury Street closes; seeks new site for restaurant