DER Weekends: Ameneh Marhaba is bringing African fusion cuisine to New Center

“Detroit Evening Report Weekends” spends time with the community members who make up Detroit’s rich culture and identity.

Ameneh Marhaba opened the African fusion pop-up Little Liberia in 2016.

Ameneh Marhaba opened the African fusion pop-up Little Liberia in 2016.

On the latest episode of the Detroit Evening Report Weekends, WDET’s Tia Graham spends some time with Ameneh Marhaba, the creator of African-fusion pop-up Little Liberia.

Marhaba is preparing to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood in 2024, after running an African-fusion pop-up for several years in the city. Little Liberia won $100,000 in the 2022 Hatch Detroit pitch competition to secure a permanent location.

Born and raised in Liberia, Marhaba spent most of her early life there with her siblings and mother, who taught her how to cook as a young girl as a means to survive. She also lived in Lebanon for a time, where her father is from, and moved to the U.S. as a teenager.

She spoke with Graham about the path that led her to open Little Liberia, how being Liberian and Lebanese influenced her cooking, and her plans for opening the restaurant next year.

Listen to the episode using the media player above.

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.