A Taste of Ghana in Thunder Bay

Review by Susan Pretty, Photos by Adrian Lysenko

The African Lounge, situated in Centennial Square, is a vibrant kitchen and market, uniting individuals through a unique culinary experience. Hailing from Ghana, owner Mercy Aby came to Thunder Bay in April of 2021 to join family who were already living here. 

“Living in Ghana is a one of a kind experience,” Aby says. “Families in Ghana are typically large with several generations living in the same home or compound. By nature we are warm, friendly, and hospitable. Your business is everyone’s business!”

Mercy Aby, owner of the African Lounge

Aby has a background in culinary arts, and is currently a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation. In 2021, she was awarded the Ottawa branch’s “Young Chef of the Quarter” while living in the nation’s capital.

“Coming to Thunder Bay gave me the opportunity to start a food business,” Aby says. “With my skills acquired through professional training, and also considering the fact that there was not much African food in the community, I saw it befitting to start an interesting adventure in the restaurant business.”

The African Lounge has a unique and flavourful menu. Favourites are Ghana jollof (freshly blended vegetables and herbs fried in oil, then rice is poured into it forming a uniform consistency), and fufu (cassava, yam, or plantain that has been boiled, pounded, and rounded into balls). Have a look at their weekly menu on Facebook to place your order for a different dish each day. Aby also sells an array of market items—try one of her sauces (like the habanero ginger) which can also be used as a dip or a marinade.

“I wish to showcase and share what I have to offer as a Ghanaian with my fellow Africans who live here, as well as the community of Thunder Bay, who have been supportive from day one!” says Aby.

Find The African Lounge on Facebook, call 343-998-6984, or email africanloungetb@yahoo.com.