Reggae Shack Café: A Gainesville Legend

Being a local, small business, we love to see other locals succeed in our community. Omar and Arpita Oselimo are two locals that opened the Gainesville staple restaurant, Reggae Shack Café. The owner not only brought amazing food to Gainesville but also is sharing the Jamaican heritage with the Gainesville Community. Reggae Shack Café describe itself as “a mid-scale, reggae themed Jamaican restaurant, serving authentic Jamaican dishes and Jamaican-inspired vegetarian cuisine.” The restaurant opened its doors on September 18, 2003 and became part of the Gainesville’s restaurant family.  Their central location, proximate to the University, downtown, and I 75 , paired with their authentic delicious meals make it one of the top places to eat in Gainesville. In 2005, Reggae Shack Café was ranked one of the best places to eat in Gainesville by the Gainesville Sun. They pride themselves on promoting the positive aspects of the Jamaican culture using music, ambiance, community support, cultural education and of course food. Their cookie technique, and spices are firmly based on Jamaican tradition. Reggae Shack Café understands the evolution of Jamaican cooking and uses the worldwide advancement to enhance the Jamaican taste.  As the logo says, Reggae Shack is a “culture so rich you can taste it.” In 2012, the owners of Reggae Shack Café opened their second restaurant, Southern Charm Kitchen. The name Southern Charm Kitchen brings the southern atmosphere, attitude, and food with it. Make sure you visit these Gainesville staples:

Expanding their restaurant empire, the owners now have a third restaurant in the works. The owners, Omar and Arpita Oselimo, purchased the former Merlion building a few months ago. Their plan is to turn it into an Indian restaurant. The restaurant still has a lot of work to be done but the menu will focus on making a specialty cuisine more mainstream and friendly to the general public. There is no definite timeline of when the new Indian restaurant will open but Front Street and the Gainesville community cannot wait to see what the new restaurant has in store!

Click here to read the full story from The Gainesville Sun, click here to visit the Reggae Shack Cafe Website, or click here for more Front Street news...

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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