Opening any sort of restaurant in the midst of a horrific pandemic is, to say the least, an unenviable task. Your seating capacity is severely restricted, you're suddenly in charge of the health and safety of your staff and your guests, you're constantly building and rebuilding infrastructure and logistics according to an ever-changing set of regulations, and you have to work even harder than usual just to barely hang on, all while hoping things will get better.

But to do all of this when your original concept — which you spent years working on and investing in — is an ambitious, sceney place designed to be as much about fun as about food, where people can party it up in close contact, well... it takes an unusual amount of determination and hope to get out there every day and push forward in the face of such overwhelming constraints.

This was the situation facing Ria and Kevol Graham, a couple from Canarsie with deep West Indian roots and their extravagant, 130-seat "Caribbean Experience" restaurant Kokomo, which opened toward the end of June near the waterfront in Williamsburg.

The Grahams had to put all of their indoor party plans on hold, of course, though you can still check out the lavish interior decor, complete with an elaborate chandelier/skylight situation and a long row of wooden "hand" bar stools, on your way to the bathroom. But the couple are fortunate in that Kokomo boasts a long frontage on North 10th Street, which they've transformed into an expansive curbside and sidewalk dining patio that can seat at least 40 under umbrellas and amidst an impressive amount of greenery.

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For now, the Kokomo menu is a modified, compromised version of what the team initially had in mind, but it still features a nice array of contemporary Pan-Caribbean dishes infused with classic West Indian flavors and ingredients. There a section of Caribbean Wood Fired Flatbreads, including a fiery one called Wah Gwaan, which is topped with Jamaican ackee and plump bits of shrimp in a scotch bonnet cilantro sauce; a Braised Oxtail concoction with Italian cheeses; and a Yardie Shrimp version covered in grilled pineapples and creamy callaloo.

You have your choice of several entrees, like a respectable Red Peppa Jerk Chicken served with rice and peas, and a rich Pappardelle Rasta Pasta peppered with portobellos and an unexpected, and quite welcome, spicy undertone. The Calypso Burger, topped with gruyere, grilled pineapple, and BBQ guava sauce, was too much for me to tackle during my already-ample feasts, but it looks like a (delicious) monster.

There are a handful of vegan options as well, such as Jackfruit Tacos, Whole Roasted Cauliflower in a housemade jerk cashew sauce, and Lentil Meatballs sitting in a pool of a Trinidadian ginger and coconut curry. Vegan versions of the burger and pasta dishes are also available.

The Grahams are still waiting for their liquor license, taking yet another hit to their revenue stream, but diners are encouraged to bring their own booze, if desired. There are several non-alcoholic frozen punches which help with the heat, and act as a base for enterprising amateur mixologists.

If you want a more socially distant atmosphere, know that live DJs at night attract a crowd here, and apparently the scene gets pretty lively once the sun goes down. But as far as pandemic protocols go, Kokomo has enough space to keep the tables reasonably far apart, and the staff, which is the largest I've yet seen during the pandemic era, are all masked up, as you should be whenever you're not physically putting food into your mouth.

Kokomo is located at 65 Kent Avenue, at the corner of North 10th Street, and is currently open Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m (