Food truck Yum Village plans for brick-and-mortar in New Center

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Godwin Ihentuge shows off food at his YumVillage food truck, which serves affordable West African and Caribbean cuisine.

Last year chef and entrepreneur Godwin Ihentuge took his Yum Village restaurant concept from pop-up to food truck, and is now planning to open as a brick-and-mortar eatery and incubator. 

Ihentuge says he's going to be taking over former Atomic Chicken restaurant at 6500 Woodward in Detroit's New Center area.

It won't just be his African and Caribbean-influenced cuisine, but also two new concepts he wants to help get off the ground. It's part of Yum Village's business model to help up-and-coming chefs. Ihentuge is a business major with a marketing background, and is also an activist for the rights of restaurant workers. 

The chefs that will be learning and serving out of Yum Village's brick-and-mortar once it's open are Tracy Garley of Culture in Bowl (Liberian-style food) and Elihu Muhammad of Cilantro (North African cuisine with French undertones). 

Ihentuge says the plan is to raise funds now via Kickstarter, and have a soft opening in January and be fully-functional by February. He's looking to crowdfund $25,000. Those that donate can get perks like free meals at the restaurant once it's open and cooking classes. Ihentuge has to reach his is $25,000 goal by Dec. 23 in order to get any of the funds raised via Kickstarter.  

Yum Village's hopeful New Center location will focus on sustainability and have quick-casual service. At least at first, there will be no liquor license. 

The Yum Village food truck will not only continue to operate at West Village's biergarten  and elsewhere, but Ihentuge says there are plans to winterize the space and extend the season.

Twitter: @melodybaetens