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The evolution of Afro-Caribbean restaurant YumVillage continues. 

Starting out as a pop-up, chef and owner Godwin Ihentuge took his business to the next level as a food truck that could be found at the Villages Bier and Weingarten regularly as well as other spots.

With the help of some crowdfunding, Ihentuge was able to open a brick-and-mortar YumVillage earlier this year in the New Center area. Since then they've done mostly carryout and delivery orders. By expanding hours this week, though, they hope to fill their cute and quirky dining room during evening hours, too.

The menu, which has halal, vegan and gluten-free options, centers around West African and Caribbean cuisine such as curry chicken, suya-style fried chicken, lemon pepper jerk chicken and flavorful black-eyed pea fritters. Pair them up with jollof rice, turmeric rice or crunchy ginger curry chickpeas.

Order a la carte or create a bowl with choice of protein and grain, plus add-ons like sweet and spicy plantains, sweet pepper salad or African-style cheese bread. Everything is served in eco-friendly takeout containers. 

There is no alcohol or pop, only flavored tea, sparking water, bottled water and other naturally flavored beverages. 

Ihentuge is working on weekend evening programming to add to the ambiance of the small cafe with rustic, casual seating and large windows facing Woodward. He's doing an open mic event this Friday, and is planning a drum circle event for April 26. 

YumVillage is at 6500 Woodward in Detroit. Starting this week hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Call (313) 686-2839 or visit yumvillage.com for carryout, delivery or catering information. 

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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