Manchester Evening News

Ex-United star hoping to hit winner with restaurant


FORMER United footballer Jesse Lingard was all smiles as he launched his latest restaurant venture.

Caribbean restaurant Jerk Junction has become a much-loved institutio­n in Manchester and is now spreading its wings to Wilmslow too.

The footballer, who is currently without a club after leaving Nottingham Forest in the summer, coowns Jerk Junction with friend and business partner Jake Shaffi. It is regularly hailed the ‘best Caribbean food in the north west’ with diners travelling from across the region for its authentic dishes like jerk chicken with aromatic rice and peas and curry goat.

Jesse and Jake welcomed the first guests into the Water Lane restaurant in Wilmslow on Wednesday night before yesterday’s full opening. Posting pictures from the opening night, Jesse teased that there could be more restaurant­s to follow after the latest Jerk Junction opening. In the Instagram post he said: “Wilmslow officially open,” before adding: “More to come” with a rocket emoji.

The eaterie has recently opened sites in Altrincham, Salford at the KargoMKT food hall and Sheffield. Its original Chorlton outpost is currently closed while repairs are undertaken after a devastatin­g fire ripped through the building last summer.

Owner Jake told the M.E.N. earlier this month what we can expect from the new restaurant, which has had a stylish refit with floral walls and an outdoor terrace area looking out onto Water Lane.

He said the Wilmslow outpost will stay true to Jerk Junction’s roots. He said: “It’s very similar to Chorlton as we didn’t want to change much as that’s what has got us this far, so it’s very laid back, same sort of dishes with some specials.

“We were going to keep the Sunday lunch exclusive to Altrincham but I’m going to probably introduce it to Wilmslow as well as a lot of people have been asking for it. We’re also starting a lunch menu.

“I know Wilmslow has a lot of offices so people eating earlier so we’re going to do jerk bagels, burritos and wraps.”

While Jake says it’s been a tough 12 months, he counts opening up at Salford Quays and Altrincham as positives and is looking forward to the new opening and getting their original site back up and running.

He said: “We’re happy with what we’re doing at the moment and trying not to spread ourselves too thin. We just want to get Chorlton back open again and have a solid year all round.”

 ?? ?? Jesse shared pictures of the opening night of Jerk Junction with the team on his Instagram
Jesse shared pictures of the opening night of Jerk Junction with the team on his Instagram
 ?? ?? Jake Shaffi
Jake Shaffi

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