Jambo Kitchen opens doors on West Bank

Located in Afro Deli’s former storefront, the restaurant offers East African cuisine.

Kitchen staffer Francisco Flores prepares chicken for tacos at Jambo! Kitchen on April 5, 2017 on West Bank in Minneapolis. Jambo! opened in the space previously occupied by Afro Deli.

Chris Dang

Kitchen staffer Francisco Flores prepares chicken for tacos at Jambo! Kitchen on April 5, 2017 on West Bank in Minneapolis. Jambo! opened in the space previously occupied by Afro Deli.

Cindy Simba

Jambo Kitchen, a new West Bank restaurant, opened its doors last week to free bowls of food and tacos.

The menu features food from the Middle East, Eastern Africa and Asia. The eatery is situated in the African Development Center space formerly occupied by Afro Deli, which is now on Washington Avenue in Stadium Village.

“Our mission is to provide great food and a great experience,” said Mahad Ibrahim, Jambo Kitchen’s manager and coordinator.

The newly renovated space features more seating, improved lighting, more charging outlets and fresh paintings to attract more customers.

“We’re hoping to offer more than just food” Ibrahim said.

The restaurant also has online ordering and a mobile kiosk for people to grab and go.

Jambo Kitchen has partnered with Peace Coffee to provide local coffee. The restaurant is dedicated to source as many ingredients as possible locally to support the local economy and ensure the quality and freshness of the cuisine.

The eatery has been in the works since January.

To engage the area’s student community, the restaurant partnered with University of Minnesota student group 180 Degrees Consulting.

“We want to make Jambo Kitchen a tasty and friendly option for the student community,” Ibrahim said.

The partnership began after Huda Khatoon, a math senior, reached out to the African Development Center. The student group was involved in critiquing the newly renovated space and offering input to ensure that it will attract students.

“It’s a unique opportunity for students to provide their input into a business,” said economics sophomore Alex Becker.

In the future, customers can expect reward programs and events to engage the community.