The Karibbean Lounge Adds Jamaican Spice to the Cape Cod Area

by Howard Campbell

CAPE COD, Massachusetts – Seafood and sailing are synonymous with Cape Cod, the scenic Massachusetts region that has been a popular tourist retreat for over a century. Three years ago, Allanah Bodah added some Jamaican spice to the area by opening The Karibbean Lounge.

Bodah, who is from St. Mary parish in eastern Jamaica, operates the restaurant with Silvano Samuels from St. Elizabeth, a rural parish located in southern Jamaica. It opened at the dawn of COVID-19 which destroyed many businesses, including fledgling ones.

Located in downtown Hyannis, The Karibbean Lounge has thrived due to the demand for Jamaican cuisine.

Allanah Bodah, owner of The Karibbean Lounge in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Allanah Bodah, owner of The Karibbean Lounge in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

“Having a Caribbean restaurant in Cape Cod does not only benefits Caribbean nationals but also the vast amount of tourists who visit the island. Seeing that we have a diverse community it is essential to entice everybody’s taste buds with their authentic meals from whatever island they are from in the Caribbean, and for visitors to surprise their taste buds with our exquisite, mouth-watering dishes,” said Bodah.

Cape Cod is home to a number of well-heeled families, the most famous being the Kennedys. Since the 1970s, its West Indian community has grown considerably with initial immigrants and their descendants opening ‘mom and pop’ businesses there.

Patrons at The Karibbean Lounge in downtown Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Patrons at The Karibbean Lounge in downtown Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Jamaicans comprise the bulk of The Karibbean Lounge’s clientele. Guyanese, Haitians, Puerto Ricans and Americans are also fans of its spicy menu which includes curried goat, jerked and brown stew chicken, oxtail and steamed/escoveitched fish.

Bodah grew up in the seaside town of Annotto Bay and although giving birth to her first child as a teenager, graduated from high school. She studied early childhood education in Jamaica prior to migrating to the US 13 years ago.

Having experienced the challenges of teen motherhood, Bodah partners with Authentic Caribbean Foundation, a Boston-based non-profit organization, to assist needy children in the Caribbean Diaspora.

Cape Cod is no longer the exclusive playground of bluebloods like the Kennedys. Immigration from the Caribbean, Asia and Europe has made it a diverse community, which Bodah and her five-member team are determined to capitalize.

“It is vital and only practical to not only prepare meals for our locals but also people from different backgrounds to explore another’s culture through food. At The Karibbean Lounge this is exactly what our aim is and by all means, is demonstrating just that,” she said.



South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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