Ethiopian restaurant Blue Nile is so popular that owner Yosef Haile is opening a second restaurant a few doors down in May called Ethiopian Cafe Inc.
The new restaurant will be located at 377 Centre St., which Aurum Hand Pies occupied until February. And while it isn’t opening for at least a few weeks, a sign is already affixed to the exterior.
Haile said he wanted to offer breakfast to supplement the morning dining options in the area, so the restaurant will serve American-style breakfast with some Ethiopian additions. The new restaurant will serve Ethiopian fare for lunch and dinner, which he said will differ from the offerings at Blue Nile.
The cafe will also feature coffee — and if you’re never heard of Ethiopian coffee, just know that coffee is thought to have originated in Ethiopia, so you know it must be good! Ethiopian-style coffee service will be offered, in a process that involves boiling, brewing and serving coffee in a clay pot called a jebena.
Haile told Jamaica Plain News that Blue Nile, which opened about five years ago, has been so popular that local residents often can’t get into the restaurant Fridays and Saturdays, as people from New Hampshire and beyond visit to enjoy the authentic Ethiopian food. Local diners often instead order food for takeout — but Haile wants people to be able to dine in and enjoy the same food he grew up eating. He added he uses a particular distributer that imports ingredients from Ethiopia to create the authentic tastes.
There will be no changes to Blue Nile, Haile said, although he noted that the new location features a larger walk-in cooler so they’ll be able to produce more food between the two restaurants, which could help support the catering side of the business.