The former Pedro O’Hara’s Tuesday afternoon at 134 Main St. in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

From the downtown food and entertainment scene comes Afro Taste Restaurant and Lounge in the former Pedro O’Hara’s space at 134 Main St. The City Council unanimously approved their application for a liquor license during Tuesday night’s meeting.

But the real story is what’s going to happen inside the large space. Owner Gael Karomba said they’ve been renovating the space since they bought it last year and converted an area that was previously used for events into a music lounge that he said will bring something very exciting to the area.

“There is nothing like this in the Lewiston-Auburn area,” Karomba said. They’re planning to have live music, DJs from around the country representing African, Caribbean, Latin and American music. Likewise, Karomba said the food will be something that is not available here or anywhere in Maine. The cuisine will focus on East African foods, which he is sourcing directly from Africa, although he said many of the ingredients are already available in Lewiston.

The restaurant and bar area is approximately 3,200 square feet, while the music lounge area is approximately 1,200 square feet, according to Karomba. They want to be open for New Year’s Eve, but that will depend on how long the final stages of state and local permitting takes. In the event they can’t open by the end of the year, they plan on a January opening.

Karomba has chosen Bernard Katende as the manager of Afro Taste, a man that City Councilor Rick LaChapelle said he has known for years in Lewiston and expressed confidence in Katende’s ability to run a good operation. Katende appeared before the City Council as they discussed the application for a liquor license.

The Buzz offers quick hits about trending area business happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact business writer Christopher Wheelock at 689-2817 or [email protected]

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