Meskerem’s closing signals the end of an era for Ethiopian dining


  

By Tim Carman April 29 at 4:50 PM

Restaurant openings are essential nutrients to food writers. We can’t survive without a few juicy coming-soon scoops, filled with all manner of detail about chef, cuisine, decor, investors and anything else we can squeeze out of an available source.

But what about closings? How often do we offer more than a dashed-off tweet to acknowledge the passing of a beloved restaurant? I mean, for every CityZen closure, there must be a dozen others that never merit a word from the Food Media Complex, many for good reason. But Meskerem in Adams Morgan was different. It didn’t deserve to die without a proper eulogy.

The establishment had been holding down the same address on 18th Street NW since the mid-1980s (some say 1985, others say 1986) when its owners were among the first waves of Ethiopian immigrants who fled after a Marxist military junta overthrew the emperor in 1974. The East African newcomers quickly established a foothold in Adams Morgan, which was the unofficial Little Ethiopia long before savvy Ninth Street restaurateurs lobbied for the name in 2005.

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