Ethiopian restaurant opens next week

Oct. 10, 2018

A small space at Sixth Street and West Avenue has been transformed into a vibrant Ethiopian restaurant that opens Monday.

Hibir Ethiopia Restaurant & Bar is the longtime dream of Adi Abraham, who immigrated to Sioux Falls 22 years ago from Ethiopia.

At Hibir, which means “colorful or united, togetherness,” Abraham said she will be cooking family recipes, using skills her mother taught her as a child. Since arriving in the U.S., she has been working in manufacturing jobs, cooking for her family and making special meals for holidays and celebrations.

Ethiopian dishes are full of flavor, she said.

“It’s hot and spicy food, most of it. … We use rosemary or other herbs, garlic, things that smell good and taste good too.”

A typical dish is grilled meat such as beef or lamb with vegetables in a stew that is eaten with injera flatbread as the utensil. Abraham also will make a signature dish called doro wat, which is chicken legs with boiled eggs, and a spicy beef dish called tibs. Vegetarian offerings also will be available.

Hibir will serve Ethiopian beers, and Abraham made a recent trip to Minneapolis to buy wines from her homeland. It’s a red variety that she describes as “medium, not too fruity and not too dry.”

Abraham’s husband has worked for the past year to create the restaurant space, starting with a gutted interior. Now, it can seat 125 customers, and when warm weather returns, diners can sit on the patio.

Abraham spent two months in Ethiopia earlier this year and brought back artwork and other handmade goods to decorate Hibir. There’s a thatched roof over the bar and above some of the booths.

The centerpiece of the room is a small stage with a low table for performing a traditional coffee ceremony. Abraham plans to do the ritual on Sundays and maybe once during the week.

Hibir will be open daily. Abraham said she’ll start with hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will tweak that as needed.

Ethiopian restaurant opens next week

A small space at Sixth Street and West Avenue has been transformed into a vibrant Ethiopian restaurant that opens next week.

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