Ithaca, N.Y. — “Hawi Ethiopian Restaurant,” an eatery that specializes in Ethiopian cuisine, will open on South Cayuga Street in downtown Ithaca next week.

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“[It’s] the only Ethiopian restaurant there is,” said Citra Mohammed, owner and Ethiopia-native.

Mohammed, 24, and co-owner Dadise Degebasa, 32, decided to open their restaurant in Ithaca after visiting in mid-to-late-2014.

“We did a lot of research,” Mohammed said in a phone interview. “A lot of people seem to be very open-minded.”

On Wednesday at noon, the restaurant opens its doors to the public for the first time at 113 S. Cayuga St, a property owned by Ithaca Renting Company. The “grand opening,” Mohammed says, is expected to happen in about three weeks.

The menu, consisting of traditional Ethiopian foods, is lamb- and beef-intensive, Mohammed says, featuring at least 6 dishes of each type.

One person can expect to spend about 20 dollars on a single meal, which includes sides and a drink.

“We hope to give people a good, nice atmosphere — for kids and grownups,” said Mohammed.

The store is expected to offer dine-in and take out services, but there are plans to accept delivery orders in the future, said Mohammed, who has lived in the U.S. for three years.

Mohammed wanted to emphasize the Ethiopian-dining experience when she decided to open a restaurant.

“Everybody gets together,” she said.

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Kyle Friend

A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: