April 23rd, 2014
"When Petros Jarra and his wife Ainalem Sultessa moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia in 1974, they had no idea it would be permanent. But six years later, after they completed their studies, civil war made a return too dangerous.
Jarra and Sultessa changed their plans and opened Jarra’s Ethiopian Restaurant in Portland. It later moved to the Buckman neighborhood‘s southern edge.
“We wanted to do some business for ourselves,” Sultessa said. “(We thought) ‘We have this food that we can make that’s not familiar here. So we invited some friends to show them, and see if they like this food – and they did. So that gave us the idea to open up a very small place.”
However, after 31 years of service, Jarra and Sultessa are ready for another change. The restaurant will close, and the existing 4,100-square-foot building at 1435 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. will be razed.
Sultessa and Works Partnership Architecture last week presented plans to the Buckman Community Association for redevelopment of the property as a four-story, 30-unit mixed-use building – the Langano Apartments, named after a bar on the ground floor. When fully developed, the 9,500-square-foot site will include 2,800 square feet of retail space and 13 surface parking stalls."