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Monday, October 8, 2012

Now Closed: Habesha

Posted by on Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 12:07 PM


Slog tipper Dan says Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant near Re-bar* has suddenly closed:

Went to ReBar on Saturday and walked by Habesha Ethiopian, the place was cleared out. Tables, chairs, everything gone. We just ate there on Monday the 24th and everything seemed normal. Just really weird that it shut down so suddenly.

The staff were very nice and the food was cheap and good. A great combo! We would go about twice a month before shows at ReBar. The staff knew this and were always curious what shows we were seeing. Trying to explain Collide-O-Scope, BaconStrip, and Dina Martina to them was always interesting.

About two months ago, they had closed off one side of the restaurant. It was actually a separate space to begin with that they expanded into years ago, but obviously their volume of business didn’t require the space now and so it was again separated.

It just struck us as very odd that there were no notes saying they were closed, or moved, or that the tax man shut them down etc. Poof. Everything was cleared out.

*What is that neighborhood properly called? Some places on the internet list it as Belltown, which seems wrong, and then some list is as South Lake Union, which also seems wrong. I'd call it downtown, I guess?


Comments (24) RSS

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jnmend 1
Unsurprising (who the hell was their intended customer? The zero people who lived nearby?) but kind of sad; their food was actually quite good.
Posted by jnmend on October 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
I call it Denny Triangle.
Posted by Michael H. on October 8, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
wow, I just discovered that place in August, and almost went there for dinner last night. Their food was really good - but yeah, that's a tough location.
Posted by genevieve on October 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
seatackled 4
Never heard of it, or I would have gone. Maybe they'll reopen, though.
Posted by seatackled on October 8, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
Posted by ProstSeattle on October 8, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
Speaking of restaurants. SOmething is fishy with the closure of Galerias after the fire. The owners house sold after being on the market for just moments. something to look into
Posted by jeffy on October 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
wonder what the investigation showed on the fire...foul play?
Posted by jeffy on October 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Drooling troglodyte 8
1. Sorry to hear about this restaurant closing. It was our go-to dining spot before heading to ReBar.
2. The neighborhood is called the Denny Triangle. Cascade is part of South Lake Union, the area north of Denny.
Posted by Drooling troglodyte on October 8, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
lark 9
I walk by that restaurant en route to work every morning. That's unfortunate to read. I believe the neighborhood is called Cascadia. There's a sign near REI saying that as I recall.
Posted by lark on October 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM · Report this
care bear 10
Denny Triangle.
Posted by care bear on October 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Dougsf 11
Ethiopian food probably isn't the easiest sell to the lunch rush coming from the Metropolitan Park buildings.

And yeah, Denny Triangle.
Posted by Dougsf on October 8, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
treacle 12
A street sign near there on Stewart St. heading towards downtown says "welcome to the Cascade neighborhood".

Too bad, that place was pretty good.
Posted by treacle on October 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
The link #5 gave very clearly says the Cascade neighborhood is bordered on the south by Denny Way, and south of that is the Denny Triangle.

It's on wikipedia, it must be true.
Posted by chorizo on October 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
Speaking as one of the "zeroes" that live in this area I would go with "Denny Triangle". Rather descriptive of what it is like to live in this transition zone. The Cascade neighborhood is to the north of us.
Posted by artful_bodger on October 8, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
well_now 15
OH NO! I loved that place. Unfortunately, not living in Washington anymore, I didn't have the opportunity to go there in the past 1.5yrs. But when I lived at the bottom of Capitol Hill it was convenient and delicious.
Posted by well_now on October 8, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
McJulie 16
Sad -- I loved their food, but they've been on my restaurant death watch list for a while based on them seeming so perpetually empty. Is there any other Ethiopian food nearby?
Posted by McJulie on October 8, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
bearseatbeats 17
I have mixed feelings. It was really good the first few times I went, but the last few times, it was almost like they refused to put any spice in the food even though we had asked for a decent amount of spice. Also, both times they had mysteriously run out of any and all Ethiopian beverages. Honey wine? Nope. Any Ethiopian beers? Nada. I hate to jump to conclusions about people's motivations, but I was left with the feeling that our general whiteness had something to do with both situations. I didn't go back.
Posted by bearseatbeats on October 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM · Report this
there always seemed to be a number of tables filled when I would go. Sometimes they were out of food or drink items. One time, I ordered a drink that required some lemons, they were out, but the bartender grabbed cash from the till and said she'd be right back! Sure enough, 10 minutes later, she arrived with lemons in tow. They will be missed.
Posted by nador on October 8, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
I discovered Habesha's vanishing act last week when I had an urgent Ethiopian craving and didn't feel like heading up to the Central District. Walked to Habesha from downtown and found what you all found... plus a Seattle City Light bill taped to the doorknob. (This doesn't suggest any serious debt or arrears, but reinforces the quickness of the disappearance.)

The place was never packed, but it was rarely empty either. It actually seemed to get busier later at night, and acted as a non-CD social hub for the area's Ethiopian community. The bartenders and other staff were always super nice. It will be missed.
Posted by d.p. on October 8, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
zachd 20
That's unfortunate: I loved that place. It was reliably delicious and spicy.
Posted by zachd on October 8, 2012 at 6:33 PM · Report this
LOL "Cascade". Like "Uptown" and "West End" it may technically be a valid name but few people outside of wonks actually use it.

It's the Denny Triangle, with SLU on the north, Downtown/Belltown on the SW and Capitol Hill above to the east.
Posted by Gomez on October 8, 2012 at 7:24 PM · Report this
stirwise 22
Booo! They weren't the best in town, but they were the closest to my work. This passing will be mourned greatly in certain corners of Eastlake. They had a totally cromulent lunch buffet.
Also, that neighborhood is Denny Triangle, as several others have pointed out.
Posted by stirwise on October 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM · Report this
Went 3 times this year, always seemed busy. Took my mom on Christmas eve, and it was bustling. Damn.
Posted by Up all night on October 8, 2012 at 10:58 PM · Report this
Stirwise, I'm curious who you find to be better than Habesha was, because they were distinctly the best of the places I've tried in Seattle. Last time we went there the greens were quite garlicky and delicious beyond description.

More than one of the other places in town served me a veg combo where all the dishes were pureed without texture, spice, or much taste. Habesha never did that.
Posted by anthony11 on October 20, 2012 at 10:23 PM · Report this

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