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Ethiopian eatery to open off Broad St. in Glen Allen

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Posted at 9:56 AM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 09:58:55-04

HENRICO, Va. — A local couple is ready to spice up West Broad Street.

Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant plans to open by mid-September in the Lexington Commons Shopping Center at 10188 W. Broad St. in Glen Allen, just east of Innsbrook.

The 1,200-square-foot, 40-seat restaurant will be owned and operated by Hawi Kejela and his wife Selam Velachew.

It’s the first restaurant venture for the couple, who are native Ethiopians and came to the U.S. 15 years ago.

Kejela said Velachew will operate the restaurant, while he works during the day full time at Richmond-based Proseal America. He said he would help on the operation side of things at Gojo on the weekends.

“She’s the boss,” Kejela joked while inside their new restaurant space. “She’ll take care of things during the day, and I’m here to support her during any downtime that I have.”

While the amount of money to start the restaurant is still being calculated, Kejela said, the couple has been completing renovations to its space mostly on their own.

“We’ve got electricians and plumbers coming in to do a lot of the work we can’t do,” Kejela said, “but the rest of the work, the floor, the bar…is being completed by us.”

Kejela said they saw an opening in Glen Allen for an Ethiopian eatery because of a lack of direct competition and plenty of room for growth.

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