Tag Archives: Askale Cafe

Askale Cafe – Lots Of Updates: Outdoor Seating, New Hours And More

Askale Patio - Demolition BeginsRestaurant from Otis Street NEDeck under constructionDeck PlansCanopy PlansVeggie Platter
Tibs Wot - a yummy beef stewOwners Asratie and AskaleSatisfied Customers

We sat down with Asratie Teferra, the co-owner of Askale Café to get caught up with how the Ethiopian restaurant that opened this summer is doing. As is to be expected, they have learned a few lessons along the way and are excited about new improvements they plan to make. Here is a rundown of what is going on at the Café:

    • The most exciting development is that the outdoor dining area they have been planning along Otis Street NE is finally underway. It took a while to secure the permits from DCRA, but now the project is going full steam ahead. Asratie told us “the deck under construction is 15 by 15 feet and wheel-chair accessible to bring in patrons in to the cafe. It is also a green deck, with five planter-boxes to be installed around it. Rain water will be harvested and contained to water plants that will be in the planter boxes.” We love that they are incorporating green elements into the deck! It is expected that the deck will be completed in about 10 days. They hope to serve guests on the deck year-round. It will have an iron railing and dogs will be allowed.
    • The Café is also planning on installing awnings along 12th Street and a 13 by 15 feet canopy over the deck. Asratie said “they will beautify the front and also reduce the sun-glare coming in the afternoon. The Café is spending a substantial amount of money for the improvement of the customer experience.” Indeed, we appreciate the investment they are making in this corner of our neighborhood, especially given that they have a 5 year lease and do not own the building.
    • Once the deck construction is complete, Asratie will seek to renew the Café’s beer and wine license. It is expected that the renewal process will take 45 days if there is no protest. (Once they have submitted their beer and wine application, we will let readers know how they can support if they choose.)
    • Another exciting event for the Café was a live feature on WUSA Channel 9 yesterday. Check out the video here. Way to go Chef Askale! Congrats on your first TV appearance.

  • Asratie wanted me to be sure to share Askale Café’s new hours with everyone – they will now be open Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, Friday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm and closed Sunday. Of course, as they grow the business they may tweak these hours again.
  • Lastly, look out for a new Café website coming soon. For now, you can check them out at their current website, Facebook and Twitter.

Askale Café is located at 3629 12th Street, NE.

Celebrate The Ethiopian New Year At Askale This Saturday

Askale Cafe - Making me hungry!
Askale Cafe – Making me hungry!

Yesterday, September 11th, was the Ethiopian New Year’s Day. Our local Ethiopian eatery, Askale Cafe, will be celebrating this occasion with the community with a free event this Saturday. From their Facebook page:

Ethiopian New Years Celebration Sat, Sept 14, 2013 at Askale Cafe. Happy Ethiopian New year every body! “Melkam Enkutatash” Come and celebrate new year (Enkutatash) with us at Askale Cafe from 4:00-5:00pm on Sat, Sept 14th and enjoy the taste of free Ethiopian food and coffee Happy New Year People!
Sound great! Hope to see many neighbors there.

Askale Cafe Launches Website, Facebook Page and Eyes September Grand Opening

Making me hungry!
Making me hungry!

We hope that by now many of our readers have checked out Askale, Brookland’s newest eatery. Since their soft opening in June they have been working hard to react to customer feedback and get the place ready for their grand opening. Owners Asratie Teferra and Askale Shiferaw are putting a lot of thought and energy into hosting what should be a very memorable grand opening celebration in early September. Current plans include outdoor dining soon, expanding their hours and re-establishing the Cafe’s beer and wine license. Starting today, Saturday July 6th, they will be open till 9:00 pm on Saturdays.  Keep up with their progress by liking their Facebook page and check out their new website here. Here is a note from them via their Facebook page:

It has been a very exciting journey so far; starting from rebuilding the cafe which is no less than building it from scratch, welcoming the superb community members of Brookland and nurturing them with exquisite Ethiopian vegetarian meal and coffee is nothing but a pure pleasure. Grand opening will be soon enough but of course we love being at your service and any body who is not even from the area; come and enjoy our cafe! Your experience will be marked with nothing but a phenomenal treatment! Rest Assured
Yay Brookland! Yay Askale!

Askale Cafe Soft Opening This Saturday – Here’s A Sneak Peek!

Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013
Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013Askale Cafe Sneak Peek 6.9.2013

Askale Cafe, a set on Flickr.

Many Brooklanders are eagerly awaiting the opening of Askale Cafe, Brookland’s newest restaurant. Lucky for us, we were treated to a sneak peek of what’s to come, and let me tell ya, it was delicious! Owners and husband and wife duo, Asratie Teferra and Askale Shiferaw were so kind to welcome us and share their amazing Ethiopian cuisine. We started with a cup of Harrar coffee, made from beans grown in the Eastern highlands of Ethiopia. It was dark and strong, yet smooth and rich.

One of the things we have so enjoyed about getting to know Askale and Asratie is their enthusiasm for sharing their culture. Before we dove in, they gave us an explanation of not only what we were eating, but how it ties into Ethiopian culture and traditions. For our meal we had smashed yellow split peas – very yummy with just a hint of sweetness, my favorite was the chicken curry with rice, it had the perfect level of spiciness, red lentils seasoned with garlic and ginger, and brown whole lentils, with a touch of fresh herbs that brightened this hearty dish. All this was scooped up with lots of yummy, tender, gluten-free injera. They also offered a crisp salad that had a light lemon vinaigrette, a perfect side dish. One of the driving themes of the restaurant is healthy eating, so they plan on serving a lot of vegetarian dishes and vegetables like kale and cabbage.

Askale and Asratie have been working really long hours to get the place ready. For example, after hearing the community feedback on disposable plates and cutlery, they immediately changed their plan and ordered a dishwasher, plates and silverware.  Other elements are starting to fall into place, new furniture has been ordered and they are working on getting free wi-fi set up for patrons. They are eager to get going, so the soft opening will be this Saturday, June 15th, opening their doors at 9am. The grand opening date and details will be announced soon.

For now, the plan is to offer casual breakfast, lunch and dinner food service. They have bigger plans though, including traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies for the community, applying for outdoor seating and renewing the beer and wine liquor license that lapsed under the previous owner. I assured them that the Brookland community will stand behind them as they get situated and improve over time. Askale Cafe is located at 3629 12th St. NE (between Otis and Newton St.). Website coming soon. Until they receive their wine and beer license, their opening hours will be:

Monday: 7am to 7pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wed to Sat: 7am to 7pm
Sun: 10am to 6pm

The Ethiopian Coffee ceremony will be scheduled on Sunday afternoons after the Grand Opening.

New Ethiopian-American Restaurant, Askale Cafe, Coming To Brookland In Early June

Many neighbors have asked me what happened to Cafe Sureia, and what will be replacing it. Cafe Sureia unceremoniously closed last summer and by mid-March, signs announcing “Askale Cafe, Coming Soon” appeared on Sureia’s papered-over windows. We met the new owners of Askale Cafe, husband and wife duo, Asratie Teferra and Askale Shiferaw. They were very warm and  welcoming, and very excited to tell us about the new place.

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The couple have a great story. They raised a  family, and now, all grown up, with their adult kids out in the world, they finally decided to make Askale’s dream – an Ethiopian influenced Cafe –  a reality. They moved from Northern Virginia to nearby Hyattsville in search of the perfect place to set up shop. They found the now defunct Cafe Sureia and decided to go for it. For now, the plan is to offer casual breakfast, lunch and “light dinner” food service infused with the flavors of Ethiopian cuisine. As they get situated, and the business grows, they would like to expand their offerings. Long term plans include applying for outdoor seating, a more robust dinner service and renewing the beer and wine liquor license that has since lapsed as part of the property. Asratie acknowledged that while their primary focus is to have a “family friendly” atmosphere, they know  many patrons may want to have a glass of wine or beer with their dinner, and over time, they would like to make that happen.

Asratie proudly spoke about the origins of coffee, while Askale poured us a strong cup of the caffeinated stuff, carefully asserting that their coffee will be more authentic than what they hand on hand.  He asked us if we knew that coffee had its start in Ethiopia. As a daughter of a Colombian immigrant, this was news to me! I sipped. The coffee in my cup was strong, smooth and rich. He went on to explain that they will have monthly traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies for the community to participate in; how traditional Ethiopian coffee service  is one of the most recognizable parts of Ethiopian culture, and how they wanted to share this with their new Brookland neighbors. They explained that according to Ethiopian culture, coffee is offered to visiting friends, during festivities, and a daily staple of life. Asratie also spoke passionately about an organization, Books For Africa, that  he is on the board of. After Googling around we found out that he grew up “in a one-room grass-covered hut in rural Ethiopia”. Wow! We were humbled that he didn’t even mention this to us during our interview. We look forward to all that this local upstart promises, and hope the neighborhood supports this new business. Askale Cafe will be located at 3629 12th St. NE (between Otis and Newton St.) and will be open Tuesday through – Sunday. They hope to to have a “soft opening” by June 1st and have a Grand Opening shortly soon thereafter. Stay tuned for more info.