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Popular Santa Fe restaurant expanding to ABQ

Jambo Cafe is bringing its African-Caribbean food to the Duke City.

The Santa Fe restaurant has signed a lease for the former Weck’s at 1105 Juan Tabo, according to owner and chef Ahmed Obo. The new location is expected to open by early spring.

Jambo started in Santa Fe in 2009, and Obo estimates that roughly half his clientele comes from Albuquerque.

“They all tell me ‘Why don’t you open in Albuquerque?’ (But) as you know restaurants are not an easy job. I said ‘Not yet, not yet,'” Obo told the Journal this week. “Finally this opportunity came, and it seems like the time is now.”

Weck’s recently moved its Juan Tabo restaurant to a newly constructed building southward at Juan Tabo and Interstate 40, creating the opening.

Obo hails from Lamu Island off the coast of Kenya. He moved to Santa Fe in 1999 and worked in other restaurants before launching Jambo in 2009. He said the Albuquerque restaurant will serve the same menu with perhaps a few twists.

Dishes on Jambo’s Santa Fe menu include East African coconut lentil stew, fried cornmeal plantain crab cakes, Kenyan style beef kabobs and a Jerk-seasoned tofu sandwich.

Obo’s various creations have won multiple titles in the annual Souper Bowl competition in Santa Fe.