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Mahamadou Tunkara working at Burgers and Ethnic Food B-B-Q last year.

JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL

The West Towne Mall spot that served West African food as well as some American fast-food items, closed after 20 months.

Burgers and Ethnic Food B-B-Q opened in the mall's food court in November 2015 and then moved into its most recent location there last summer.

In December, owner Mahamadou Tunkara also took over a combination Quizno's/Chocolate Shoppe ice cream location next door and sold Chocolate Shoppe ice cream and sandwiches under the name Good Eats Subs.

At Burgers and Ethnic Food B-B-Q, Tunkara offered African food such as fried meat pies; domada, a Gambian peanut stew over rice; benachin, or jollof rice, popular in Gambia and Senegal; fufu, chicken on top of a bed of starch made with cassava leaves and plantain flour; and yassa, a spicy Sengalese entree with chicken in a peppery sauce, served over rice or couscous.

He also sold jerk chicken, curry chicken, burgers, fried chicken, fish sandwiches and a daily fish fry.

Tunkara closed his restaurant June 30 because the rent was too high, and he's currently looking for another spot. "It's not easy to find a place in Madison right now," he said.

He said he doesn't care where in Madison he relocates. "It's 20 minutes from anywhere to anywhere."

GreenLife Essence will open soon in the former Burgers and Ethnic Food B-B-Q space, selling organic smoothies and smoothie bowls, mall spokeswoman Tiffany Bernhardt Schultz said.

There are two additional empty spaces in the food court, and Bernhardt Schultz said the mall is currently in negotiations with potential tenants.

[Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the name of the smoothie shop coming to West Towne Mall.]

Read more restaurant news at go.madison.com/restaurantnews.

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Wisconsin State Journal food writer Samara Kalk Derby brings you the latest news on the Madison area's eclectic restaurant scene.