It’s confirmed: Ethiopian restaurant coming to downtown Asheville


UPDATE: The Asheville Citizen-Times today confirms what I first reported last week – that an Ethiopian restaurant called Addissae is coming to Commerce Street in downtown Asheville. Click over to read the details (note that the newspaper website has a paywall.)

ORIGINAL POST April 10: Foodies have been clamoring for an Ethiopian restaurant in Asheville for years now, and it looks like one might finally be in the works. Word on the street is that an Ethiopian eatery is coming to the former Firestorm Cafe location on Commerce Street in downtown Asheville. (Basically right behind Thirsty Monk in downtown.)

Right now, you can get some awesome Ethiopian at DeSoto Lounge in West Asheville, but only on Tuesdays. (They still offer that, right?) Anyway, more as I get it.

Firestorm Cafe recently closed, with the owners saying they plan to re-open in a new location in West Asheville. No word yet on where they’ll land.


pfffft April 21, 2014 - 10:55 am

really glad to see the trolls from the citizen times comment section have found a new home…

Matt April 18, 2014 - 9:29 pm

Sweet. Filling in the ethnic cuisine gap in downtown!

My apologies to anyone from Ethiopia who read Harry’s comments below. He is what we call an Ignorant American: very sheltered about the world outside of the US, thinks that jokes about hunger and famine are funny, because he’s always had a big mac to turn to; thinks Ethiopia is a funny shape on a map and has ‘skinny people’ there, and probably has no idea that the the culture and cuisine of Ethiopia dates back over 3000 years,(12 times as old as USA) and that early hominids lived there millions of years ago, lending the land a much deeper and richer significance than anything he’ll ever appreciate.

indie April 21, 2014 - 12:42 pm

LOL, I’m sure there are a lot of Ethiopians here who were thrilled with your apology.

cat April 17, 2014 - 1:17 pm

ethiopian was a favorite and plentiful in sf when I moved here from there 13 years ago! it’s very exciting, I love the many spicy vege dishes and injera and the family table presentation.

Harry April 17, 2014 - 9:17 am

I don’t understand all the hubbub about this Ethiopian food. It can’t be all that good. Hell, the Ethiopians don’t even eat it. Ever seen the size of them little buggers? They ain’t as big around as a nail!

Big Al April 17, 2014 - 1:40 pm

I was going to say the same thing but was afraid it would sound unnecessarily cruel.

Of course, Ethiopia was not always a famine-stricken country, mostly in our lifetime.

Harry April 17, 2014 - 4:14 pm

I always seem to say what others think. Too old to change now. Besides, I fu@king hate political correctness!

luther blissett April 17, 2014 - 5:36 pm

By which you mean “not being an @sshole.” Which is fine enough, as long as you don’t mind being thought of as an @sshole.

Harry April 17, 2014 - 8:19 pm

Go f@ck yourself.

chris April 19, 2014 - 1:36 pm

He obviously doesn’t mind.

smytty April 19, 2014 - 7:59 am

Yeah, some folks have this annoying thing called a “filter” that allows them to think about what they are going to say before they blurt out their initial reactions.

That must be annoying, eh?

Harry April 19, 2014 - 9:26 am

What’s annoying are sniveling little PC twits who can’t take a joke. Hopefully you and Matt the apologist never turn on Comedy Central.

Smytty April 19, 2014 - 11:39 am

Sorry that I don’t pay myself on the back for saying the first thing that crosses my mind without considering it. See, I’m apologizing again. Guess you are correct.

Anyways, yay for more diverse ethnic food in Asheville. Boo for twerps who are proud of spewing vile hate-speech.

Michael April 11, 2014 - 3:22 pm

That would be fantastic… I’ve really been missing Ethiopian food. I’m just amazed no one’s tried it in Asheville yet. There are some great Ethiopian places in Atlanta, and even a couple of fair ones in Charlotte. It’s time! Yay!

Das Drew April 10, 2014 - 9:15 pm

That should be a good fit beside Kathmandu and Jerusalem Garden.

hauntedheadnc April 10, 2014 - 6:09 pm

Whoa, whoa, whoa… Wait just a darn minute. Ethiopian? Not a pizza-taco fusion place, our 38th Italian joint, or our 80th Mexican restaurant?

Sorry, that’s just too radical.

And it goes without saying their food had bloody well better be gluten free, fair trade, shade grown and organic. Or else.

Sean April 12, 2014 - 9:15 pm

You forgot “sustainable” and “local.” You’ve gotta hit all the buzzwords if you’re going to start.

Big Al April 13, 2014 - 5:23 am

What about paying a Living Wage?

(Not that I care, just gettin’ in the spirit.)

hauntedheadnc April 13, 2014 - 8:36 am

Maybe we should commission a study or ten about it before moving forward. If we’re lucky, the people who want to open the restaurant will give up by year 15 or so as the studies grind on, and we can get back to the serious business of opening multiple clones of the restaurants we already have.

NFB April 13, 2014 - 10:52 am

And more hotels.

Frank April 13, 2014 - 7:58 pm

You guys, we need to force affordable housing into this space.

Harry April 14, 2014 - 5:47 am

If there isn’t a section of the menu dedicated to vegan and vegetarian options, I’ll be organizing a protest at Pritchard park.

hauntedheadnc April 14, 2014 - 8:16 am

And you bring up another good point, Harry. A very, very good point: parks. What with the obvious lack of green space in downtown Asheville, wouldn’t it be better to put a park in there instead of some dumb old restaurant?

Harry April 14, 2014 - 9:38 pm

If we can’t have an electric car charging station, I guess a park will be ok.

Leland April 16, 2014 - 8:54 pm

Must have mac and cheese so useless, vile comments can be made by self appointed restaurant reviewer.

mrzeau April 10, 2014 - 11:38 am

Do you know who’s involved? I know Addissae has been looking for a viable location for at least a year.

Jason Sandford April 10, 2014 - 12:48 pm

don’t know yet…

Becky April 11, 2014 - 11:07 am

I believe it is the Addissae folks. I ran into Vicki, one of the owners of Addisae, about a month ago, and she told me they were very close–that they had found an investor and were actively looking for a location again.

orulz April 10, 2014 - 10:28 am

It seems that you mean Commerce Street, not Congress Street.

You had me all excited, thinking there was some district of downtown I didn’t know about.

Jason Sandford April 10, 2014 - 10:57 am

yes, thank you orulz

Kim Roney April 10, 2014 - 9:59 am

No, sadly Desoto has not had this option on Tuesdays for a while now. I’m looking forward to the new place!

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