When asked about why they wanted to open an East African restaurant in Detroit, Hamissi Mamba’s answer was simple – there wasn’t one in the area. This fall he and his wife, Nadia Nijimbere, will open Baobab Fare to bring the flavors of their native Burundi to their new home, with both meat and vegan options available. “We couldn’t make this happen without the support from the community here in Detroit,” Mamba said. The 2,400-square-foot restaurant – at 6568 Woodward Avenue in the New Center area – will have juice and coffee bars, along with a small retail space where people will be able to buy food products from Africa, and a dining area for sit-down service. The duo – who were granted asylum to the U.S. in 2017 and took the top prize at Hatch Detroit that year – will also be hiring refugees. “We want to inspire them that you have a place in Detroit, you can make it too,” Mamba said.
Metro Intelligencer is a monthly column devoted to news stories, tidbits and gossip items about what's happening on the restaurant scene in the metro Detroit area. Metro Intelligencer is reported/created each month by Dana Casadei who can be reached at DanaCasadei@DowntownPublications.com with news items or tips, on or off the record.