Demera chef and owner Tigist Reda has a unique ability to push, which is how she connected with Time Out Market to open a second location of her popular Ethiopian restaurant.
Reda is prepping to open the satellite location next week inside the Fulton Market food hall owned by the media company. They’ll officially open on Monday, February 6 with a menu that includes sambussas (in beef, cheese, or lentil), doro wot (chicken win berbere with hardboiled egg, and ayb), and shrimp tibs. The menu should have plenty of veggie options and, of course, injera.
Time Out typically has approached restaurants, selling them on the idea of bringing their neighborhood business closer to Downtown Chicago and increasing their exposure to a new audience. When the food hall opened in 2019, the food hall focused on big-name chefs with awards. However, after the pandemic struck, the strategy changed to provide better opportunities to BIPOC chefs. That’s provided for more of an international flare with Indian food from Bar Goa, pan-Latin from Lil Amaru, and Greek from Avli. There’s also barbecue from Soul & Smoke and fun sandwiches from Big Kids.
Reda tells Eater that she pursued the partnership with Time Out, approaching the food hall’s team in December. They’ll be stationed next to Bill Kim’s station near the western staircase. Reda opened Demera in 2007 in Uptown and has worked to educate Chicagoans about the various tastes of Ethiopia, including the wonders of injera, the spongey fermented flatbread.
Reda also has worked with chefs across the city and was part of the Chicago Chefs effort that kicked off in 2022 to raise money for various international causes including war relief in Ukraine and supporting victims of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. She also pushed the focus to her own native Ethiopia where war had been consuming the country since November 2020. Reda struggled while worrying about her family back home. The Tigray War ended in November 2022.
This isn’t the first time Reda has to tried to expand. She partnered with her friend, Mary Aregoniof Saigon Sisters, to sell meals at Saigon Sisters’ West Loop home. She also briefly popped up in Hyde Park.
Demera at Time Out Market, 916 W. Fulton Street, scheduled to open Monday, February 6.