Ras-Ka restaurant to return to Fort Collins after year hiatus

December 7, 2017
               News
Lamb tibs and lamb alicha is served with yellow split
Lamb tibs and with yellow split peas at Nyala Ethiopian Cuisine at 2900 Harvard St. in Fort Collins.  (Photo: Austin Humphreys/The Coloradoan)lamb   servedalichais

Jacob Laxen, jlaxen@coloradoan.com

After a year hiatus, Ras-Ka Ethnic Cuisine is planning a return to Fort Collins.

The Ethiopian restaurant is reopening in January with an expanded menu and will operate out of 128 W. Laurel St. — a few doors down from the restaurant’s original location, which now houses the Gold Leaf Collective.

“I thought it was time to move on,” said owner Hanna Selassie. “But many people were demanding we bring it back through messages and phone calls. A community has formed around Ras-Ka food.”

Selassie grew up in Ethiopia, moving away from the African country when she was 16. She studied at Colorado State University and has lived in Fort Collins for the past two decades.

In 2003, Selassie began bottling a tomato-based Ethiopian sauce and selling it at area markets.

She opened Ras-Ka in 2007, specializing in her native cuisine. A similar restaurant called Nyala Ethiopian Cuisine opened in 2004 and still operates in Fort Collins.

“It was very hard to introduce (Ethiopian food) at first,” Selassie said. “It was an exotic food to most people.”

Ras-Ka closed late last year. Selassie continued the sauce business with online orders during the hiatus.

She’s now resurrecting the restaurant with her daughter Sophia Lovella.

“People are very passionate about Ras-Ka,” Lovella said. “It is going to be fun growing our little community.”

The new Ras-Ka plans to operate every Wednesday through Saturday. A limited breakfast menu will be offered, along with a lunch buffet and regular dinner service.

Many of the favorite Ethiopian dishes will return, along with an expanded menu that includes Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

“We want to include more of an international cuisine,” Selassie said.

The menu will feature mostly vegetarian and vegan items. Chicken is available as a protein for most dishes.

The restaurant is applying for a wine and beer license, and it will also serve its own kombucha brand.

Follow Jacob Laxen on Twitter and Instagram @jacoblaxen.

SOURCE : COLORADOAN

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