Mother, daughters to bring Jamaican food to Atlanta with Mobay Spice

Wynter Lii and her daughters will bring a taste of their Jamaican heritage to Atlanta in the coming weeks with the opening of their first restaurant.

Wynter, along with Ashante, Neirah and Kenecia are set to open Mobay Spice March 1 at 2953 N. Druid Hills Road in the former Fish Bowl Poké space.

The foursome, who relocated to Atlanta from Miami three years ago and also co-own swimwear line Akosh-Lii, were inspired by trips to Jamaica to visit Wynter’s sister, who owned several restaurants.

“We always wanted to express that part of our life,” Kenecia said. “We had always talked about opening a restaurant, but we never knew the ropes or how to get started.”

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Credit: Mobay Spice

Credit: Mobay Spice

The pandemic gave them the opportunity to do some research and “really make it happen,” she said.

Each family member brought their own strengths to help complete the project, with Kenecia having a background in finance, Ashante focusing on hospitality, Wynter on design and Neirah “doing a little bit of everything,” Kenecia said.

Wynter learned the ins and outs of cooking and working in a kitchen after being married for years to a chef, and the four worked together to develop the menu, with dishes including ackee and salt fish bowls, jerk chicken tacos, a jerk burger, and curry goat, along with brunch items such as French toast in a creamy rum sauce.

Vegetarian options include buttered beans and saltfish and a curry veggie wrap.

Credit: Mobay Spice

Credit: Mobay Spice

“We knew we wanted to have the Caribbean background on the food, but we knew we also wanted to have some American and other influences,” Wynter said. They experimented with dishes that pull from both cuisines, including a jerk burger and shrimp and grits.

On the beverage side, offerings include a rum punch that was perfected at the Lii’s parties over the years, along with cocktails named for each family member and a selection of Jamaican beers and wines.

The 32-seat space will complement the menu, with tropical greenery and arches symbolizing cities in Jamaica including Kingston and Negril.

Once open, Mobay Spice will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sundays. Brunch will be served on Sundays, with plans to expand service to other days during the week.

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