ROGERS PARK — A new safari-themed lounge and restaurant is coming to Rogers Park from the couple known for bringing an authentic taste of Ethiopia to North Broadway to Uptown.
Chef Tigist Reda and husband Germai Lemma opened Demera, 4801 N. Broadway, across from the Green Mill in 2007 after coming to the United States from Ethiopia as their home country endured civil war.
Now the pair are planning to open Safari Lounge and Ethiopian Cuisine at 7124 N. Clark St. in Rogers Park in the spot of the former Fabi's Mexican restaurant and banquet hall.
Signs hanging across the side of the building say the African eatery and banquet hall are "coming soon," and notices on the front door show business owners applied for liquor and amusement licenses in October.
On Wednesday, the Rogers Park Business Alliance posted on Instagram noting the owners were still in the process of undergoing renovations, but would announce an opening date soon.
In 2007, Lemma told Chicago Magazine the "demand is growing" for authentic Ethiopian food in Chicago.
With Safari's takeover, it will be the first time the building has been in use since Fabi's closed in 2012 due to foreclosure, property records show.
In 2014, Peter Spyropoulos, president of Devon Realty, bought the two-story, 4,400-square-foot building for $175,000.
The owners could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Went to visit Safari Lounge on Clark St. to check out the renovations! The owner has big plans to book live music and host special events! Very excited to welcome another Ethiopian restaurant to our hood. Stay tune for opening dates. #ethiopianfood #demerassister #loverogerspark #welcometotheneighborhood #safariloungerp
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