Little Liberia to host food pop-up at Baobab Fare

Liberian seafood spring rolls, bean stew, and garlic roasted eggplant are on the four-course menu for Little Liberia’s pop-up tonight at Baobab Fare. 

Chef and owner of Little Liberia, Ameneh Marhaba, plans to open a brick-and-mortar in Midtown next summer. (BridgeDetroit photo by Jena Brooker) 

At the event, the restaurant’s owner, Ameneh Marhaba, also plans to unveil her new hot sauce, which she plans to eventually sell retail. There will be a raffle and guests have a chance to win a bottle.

“We are introducing our hot sauce today,” Marhaba told BridgeDetroit, in addition to two new menu options. “It’s different, it’s unique, it’s not your traditional hot sauce.” 

The pop-up is the latest in a string of events since Marhaba founded Little Liberia, an Afro-fusion food business, in 2016. For years, the chef has held pop-up events around Detroit at places like BasBlue and Brooklyn Street Local. Last year, Marhaba won $100,000 in the Comerica Hatch Detroit contest, an annual competition to support businesses to establish brick-and-mortars. She beat 350 other small businesses, taking home the grand prize. Marhaba expects to open a brick-and-mortar next summer, 2024. 

Little Libera’s food pop-up at Baobab Fare will feature menu items like spring rolls. (Courtesy photo)

“It’s going to be in Midtown,” Marhaba told BridgeDetroit, adding that she couldn’t yet say the exact location. 

It would be among the first Liberian restaurants in Michigan. 

Monday’s pop-up is being hosted at Baobab Fare, an East African restaurant that also won the Comerica Hatch Detroit competition, in 2017. A few years later, Baobab opened its first brick-and-mortar in New Center and now hopes to open a second location in Detroit’s East English Village. 

Little Liberia’s pop-up will start at 7 p.m. at 6568 Woodward Ave. The event will conclude with coffee cake, a recipe of Marhaba’s own mother.  

Tickets can be purchased online. 

On Sept. 15, Little Liberia will hold a tasting event with everything they make, set at the same price. Guests will be able to have a taste of every dish and vote on their favorites. The most popular selections will be added to the menu at the restaurant’s future brick-and-mortar. 

“They will help us determine what the menu will be,” Marhaba said. 

The location of the tasting is still being determined.

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