close
close

New SLO restaurant with West African, Caribbean dishes



The new I & I Neighborhood Kitchen restaurant opens in San Luis Obispo, offering a mix of West African, Caribbean and Southern cuisine in the space formerly occupied by Platypus Cafe.

I & I is short for “irie ites,” a Jamaican term that refers to “positivity” or “joy,” according to the restaurant’s website, or as owner and chef Stan Kelly puts it, a “positive vibration.” .

Kelly said the term represents the singularity of humanity, and he wanted to create a community restaurant where everyone is welcome.

Click to resize


What is that in SLO County?

Have you ever wondered what that structure is in your town or what happened to that local business? We are discovering the answers. Send us your questions and tips by emailing reporter Kaytlyn Leslie at [email protected].

read more

The new SLO County cafe serves an American breakfast with a Mexican flair

SLO County bar closes its doors after 5 years. ‘I think that’s it folks’


‘You come in, you break bread, you go have a conversation with people you would probably never have a conversation with,” Kelly said.

Kelly says I&I expects soft opening next weekend – MJune 31 to 2 — depending on when a few things, like liquor licenses, get squared away.

Kelly says he drew inspiration from personal experiences growing up in Charleston, South Carolina.

“These three cuisines are kind of intertwined, obviously through the slave trade and things like that,” Kelly said, referring to dishes like Jollof rice, which historically comes from West Africa but has made its way to the Caribbean and the USA

Speaking of which, Kelly expects I&I’s version of the dish – pureed peppers, tomatoes, andouille sausage and shrimp served over red rice – to be a hit, along with the smoked turkey kale.

‘My mother always cooked that with her kale with smoked turkey meat in it. That’s going to be really good,” Kelly said.

I & I Neighbhoorhood Kitchen’s menu includes charcuterie, flatbreads and panini, priced at $17-$18. The new San Luis Obispo restaurant combines West African, Caribbean and Southern cuisine in the space formerly occupied by Platypus Cafe. Stan Kelly

Kelly used to own a food truck, Wicked Garden, affiliated with SLO Wine and Beer Co. on South Higuera Street, where he served similar cuisine to I & I’s, including a jerk chicken taco that people “raved about.”

SLO is home to Ethiopian restaurant Ebony and Bon Temps Creole Cafe, but Kelly says for the most part he hasn’t seen as much West African or Caribbean cuisine here.

He thinks people will be receptive to this new addition to SLO’s food scene, especially since the Caribbean is a popular tourist spot and many are already familiar with the food.

With 12 seats inside and 22 outside, Kelly is excited about I & I’s intimate dining experience.

“I think it’s going to grow and I think it’s going to be very successful,” Kelly said.

“You’re going to have a conversation with people you probably would never have a conversation with,” owner and chef Stan Kelly said of the new I & I Neighborhood Kitchen in San Luis Obispo, California. Stan Kelly

Also on the menu are charcuterie, flatbreads and panini, priced at $17-$18. The brunch includes items such as avocado toast, grits with shakshouka and harissa roasted potatoes with callaloo, a common Caribbean leafy vegetable used for stews and dishes. Bottomless mimosas, coffee, cold brew and other drinks are also available.

Lunch and dinner are served Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Sundays, a brunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a three-piece jazz band up front.

I & I Neighborhood Kitchen is located at 1901 Broad St. For more information, visit irieiteskitchen.com or call 805-470-6533.

I & I Neighborhood Kitchen in San Luis Obispo, California, will open in the coming weeks and will offer a mix of international cuisines. Stan Kelly

Profile image of Kelsey Oliver

Kelsey Oliver is a reporting intern for The Tribune. She is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a current graduate student at the Graduate Schools of Journalism and Public Health at UC Berkeley.

Back To Top