Ras-Ka Ethnic Cuisine closed late last year. Hanna Selassie continued bottling a tomato-based Ethiopian sauce and selling it at area markets and online orders during the hiatus.

By Jacob Laxen (Coloradoan)

FORT COLLINS, Colo.―After a year hiatus, Ras-Ka Ethnic Cuisine is planning a return to Fort Collins, Colorado.

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.”

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

She opened Ras-Ka Ethnic Cuisine 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,” Hanna said. “It was an exotic food to most people.”

Ras-Ka closed late last year. Hanna 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,” Sophia 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.

Continue reading this story at Coloradoan
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