It’s been less than a year since The 206 made the leap from a food truck selling waffles and coffee to brick-and-mortar storefront.
But the business, located at 818 S. Oak Park Ave., has a new owner as of Feb. 1 and will gradually move in a different direction.
Michael Kumela, the new co-owner of The 206, said he and his wife, Kalkidan Tesfaye, have purchased the business and will continue serving hot coffee and waffles for now, but the Ethiopian couple aims to eventually add their traditional cuisine.
Kumela said Tesfaye, who owned and operated an Ethiopian restaurant in Oakland, California for 11 years, is “a great baker, so we’re in the process of bringing in a stove.” He said baking at the premises would allow her to begin offering homemade scones, banana bread and Ethiopian bread.
“The short-term plan is expanding the menu and also adding a little bit of a twist to it with our culture,” he said.
Owner Valentino Ganacias could not immediately be reached for comment on why the café was sold.
Kumela said he and Tesfaye are currently working with the village of Oak Park to change the sign for the business — the new name is going to be Addis Café, which translates to the word “New” in Ethiopian.
“The reason we called it that is the capital of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa, which means ‘new flower,'” he said, noting that both he and his wife were born in the Ethiopian capital.
Kumela said it probably will be a couple of years before they make the switch to a full-on Ethiopian restaurant. He said they’re waiting for their kids, ages 3 and 4, to get a little older before they commit more time to the restaurant concept.
“That’s kind of our dream, and we really think we can make it a place not just for people in Oak Park but in surrounding towns,” he said.
“We go up north to all these Ethiopian restaurants and meet people who have traveled from Naperville and Elmhurst. We would like those people to come to Oak Park and not go all the way out to the Edgewater and Rogers Park area.”