Andrew Zimmern Wants You to Save Marla's Caribbean Cuisine

Andrew Zimmern Wants You to Save Marla's Caribbean Cuisine

Yesterday, City Pages published a story relaying the plight of spicy food gem Marla’s Caribbean Cuisine. The chef-loved spot at 3761 Bloomington Avenue is owned by Marla Jadoonanan and her husband Ian. Marla serves her brand of the flavorful food from her native Trinidad.

When the restaurant first opened back in 2008 it was a rough part of town. There were bullet holes in the windows and the building was a bit of a shambles. Since then, the restaurant has slowly pieced into an integral part of the Twin Cities food culture. Chefs love spending time there during off hours for the food cooked by Marla and her easy-going, warm service.


Inside the decor is a hodge podge of handmade and bright colors
Google Images

As she and her husband made the eatery a better place, the neighborhood has also been seeing a bit of revitalization. There’s now a third-wave coffee shop and some cute home decor shops nearby. It seems that the new landlord who purchased the building that houses Marla’s would like to be able to capitalize on that upswing by bringing in a higher-paying tenant.

According to the City Pages story, the Jadoonanan’s rent has increased and will continue to do so. Reportedly, the landlord, First and Third’s Dan Coleman wrote, ““I have standing offers to rent your space for $3,000 a month with some sort of a build out/updating.” The mounting costs of maintaining, upgrading and renovating the buisiness on top of the rent increases make things look grim for the restaurant as its lease expiration of 2019 approaches.

Now the chef that love this place are trying to rally eaters. Gavin Kaysen tweeted, “This place cannot close, the food is great, the story behind why they are cooking it is why all the chefs eat there….lots of soul in this food….please support this small business, Marla and her family.”

International celebrity chef and hometown hero Andrew Zimmern also reached out to his fans. “This isn’t an uncommon business story. But it is an uncommon people story. This place is one of the most remarkable restaurants in the Twin Cities and I hope everyone who reads this supports Marla’s by going and eating there!”

Right now, the future for Marla’s Caribbean remains unclear, but safe to bet that lunch rush will be a bit busy today.

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