For a growing and acculturated immigrant community, the entire D.C. Metro area has become ‘Little Ethiopia’
For many college students, the neighborhood of Adams Morgan may conjure images of bars, tattoo parlors and quaint coffee shops. But for the members of the Ethiopian community, this neighborhood is home. A walk down 18th Street Northwest still reveals these smells and sights, a hint of spices, an array of colors – and a community of people committed to sharing and embracing their culture.
Merchaw Senshaw is part of that community. Senshaw, the owner of Quara, an Ethiopian restaurant in the area, said the United States has been home to him for the last 20 years. He has found the Adams Morgan community to be welcoming and friendly. But Senshaw’s move to open a restaurant in Adams Morgan actually came out of a challenging situation.
Senshaw came to the United States on the recommendation of a friend, but, in 2008, that same friend had to shut down his restaurant in Adams Morgan as a result of the recession and increased rents in the area. This wasn’t the only closure to happen in Adams Morgan during the financial crisis. Adams Morgan lost several other Ethiopian restaurants, inspiring Senshaw to fill the void with his own establishment.