African pop-up and soon-to-be restaurant Little Liberia has found its future forever home: 6513 Woodward Avenue — the space that formerly housed the Room Project co-working space.
Founded in 2016, first under the name Kitchen Ramarj by Ameneh Marhaba, Little Liberia won $100,000 in the 2022 Comerica Hatch Detroit contest. In the months since, Marhaba has been hosting pop-up events, asking customers to provide feedback on the menu that will be used to inform the types of dishes that will be served at the restaurant. According to a media release distributed Monday, securing the space came with support from the nonprofit Midtown Detroit, Inc., though details about the type of assistance provided were not disclosed.
Marhaba told Tostada Magazine in 2017 that she started her culinary journey cooking Liberian and Lebanese cuisine for friends and family, having split her upbringing in both countries. While she continues to gather comments from guests of the pop-up in the months ahead of opening the physical space, diners can also expect traditional halal dishes such as plantain chips, Liberian country dry rice, cassava leaves, groundnut stew, and palm butter. To drink, Little Liberia is planning to carry a variety of cocktails and mocktails.
“I am excited to bring Little Liberia’s flavors to a permanent location in the heart of Detroit, the support and love we’ve received from our community have been overwhelming, and I’m excited to create a space where our guests and fellow immigrants can experience the essence of West Africa whenever they please and feel safe doing so,” Marhaba said in the news release.
Little Liberia will become the third African-centric restaurant to open in recent years on the 6500 block of Woodward Avenue alone. The Afro Caribbean spot Yum Village opened its doors in 2019, followed by the Burundi-owned Baobab Fare in 2021.