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Fast-Casual Ethiopian Eatery to Open in Columbia Heights

by Andrew Ramonas January 13, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Future home of LeTena in Columbia Heights

(Updated at 11:10 a.m. March 3) The rumors are true: A new Ethiopian restaurant is coming to Columbia Heights.

LeTena is slated to open early this spring in the former Señor Chicken space on Park Road NW near 14th Street NW, Bona Tilahun, a representative of the eatery, told Borderstan yesterday. He is helping his wife, Yamrot Ezineh, set up the restaurant in the DC USA retail development.

Roughly meaning “for our health” in Amharic, Ethiopia’s primary language, the fast-casual eatery will include Ezineh’s takes on her family’s recipes, Tilahun said.

“It’s going to focus on healthy and nutritious ingredients,” he said.

Further information on the menu wasn’t immediately available.

According to a news release distributed March 3:

Arriving in the spring of 2016 at the corner of 14th Street and Park Road (3100 14th Street) is LeTena, a new, fast casual concept Ethiopian restaurant that will feature authentic Ethiopian dishes and a coffee house with barista.

LeTena will serve a variety of healthy, locally sourced and freshly made dishes including various vegetarian dishes, tibs, stews, salads and other Ethiopian specialties.  The restaurant will have 20 seats in the coffee area where baristas will serve a variety of specialty coffees and teas as well as pastries.  Coming on Sundays this summer, the coffee house will feature a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with coffee made from freshly roasted Ethiopian coffee beans.  The 30 seat dining room is a comfortable spot to enjoy classic Ethiopian dishes served with injera in traditional fashion, or wrapped, with bread or rice for those who wish to use utensils. A children’s menu and other international dishes that are favorites in the region will also be available.  The dining and coffee rooms are WiFi accessible.

Owner, Yamrot Ezineh, is a native Ethiopian who has spent time in the food industry in Ethiopia and the UK, has imbued LeTena’s decor with Ethiopian artifacts to add to the cultural aspect.  Combined with the comfortable surroundings, a sense of place will add to the guest experience.  The restaurant’s colors of greens and earth tones reflect the freshness of nature in LeTena’s dishes.

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