West Seattle restaurants: Pan Africa Grill to ex-Ho-Win space

Story and photos by Bill “Hutch” Hutchison
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The owner of Pike Place Market’s Pan Africa Restaurant and Bar is planning to open another grill in West Seattle – in the space where Ho Win-Chinese Restaurant operated till last Saturday.

We just spoke with Mulugeta “Mulu” Abate, a former West Seattle resident who has long wanted to return to this area and says the empty Ho Win space afforded him the opportunity to open Pan Africa Grill: “We’ve always wanted a neighborhood location where there is ample parking and we can get to know our customers.”

They will be serving a “core menu” of mostly traditional East African/Ethiopian dishes, including curries (here are menu highlights for the Pike Place location), and many vegan offerings.

Additional menu selections, different from his downtown location, will be many grilled items (chicken, beef, lamb and fish). Specialties will include whole deep-fried, African-spiced Tilapia. Abate is also excited to add a “rotating” menu offered one to two months at a time, focusing on cuisine from one specific region of Africa at a time. Dinner will be available six nights a week – hours pending – and brunch will be offered on weekends.

Mulugeta, who grew up near Dallas (here’s a bit more on his background), has owned and operated the Pan Africa Market for eight years. He was also the former manager of La Louisiana in the Central District and has managed a mobile espresso business on the Eastside. He’s hoping to open in West Seattle in four to six weeks, depending on completion of renovations: “I’m pushing for four weeks.”

His first task is to renovate the space, which will include tearing out the carpeting and booths, painting, remodeling the ceiling and lighting and adding a new bar space in the back dining area.

Future plans (summer 2012) include adding a deck space in back in the parking lot, depending on whether he can use one or two current parking spaces to do so. The front stone wall will remain, but will be painted and the awning will be “thatched.” And if you’re wondering about drinks – he’s planning to seek a full liquor license, but for table service, not a standalone bar.

Entertainment is also a possibility in the months to come (they currently have someone playing the Kora at their downtown location) and Abate plans to offer African-cuisine cooking classes in the near future (the downtown location offers these now).

In addition to the Pike Place restaurant, Pan Africa Market is serving food at the Phinney Ridge and Lake City Farmers’ Markets and hopes to be at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market soon.

57 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Pan Africa Grill to ex-Ho-Win space"

  • lucky chick May 4, 2011 (3:14 pm)

    YAY!!! YAY YIPPEE YAHOO!!! Ethiopian in West Seattle!!!

  • datamuse May 4, 2011 (3:16 pm)

    What lucky chick said. Yay!!

  • sp May 4, 2011 (3:23 pm)

    This is exciting! Love to see new, different restaurants come in!

  • JanS May 4, 2011 (3:27 pm)

    oh, my, yes!!!!

  • Kara May 4, 2011 (3:28 pm)

    I am addicted to this place, but very rarely go to Downtown…I usually want to get home from work as fast as possible…I’m so excited!!

  • m2 May 4, 2011 (3:31 pm)

    So excited! They not only have Ethiopian dishes, but items from other East African countries downtown as well. A really great mix. I would love some mishkaki na ndeze if they would ever make an attempt at Tanzanian as well…

  • Amber May 4, 2011 (3:37 pm)

    SWEEET! There is such a sizable African community here I’ve just been waiting for someone to open such an establishment. Me and my family are so there!

  • Roger May 4, 2011 (3:39 pm)

    WoooHOOO! Can’t wait…Love the restaurant in the market but hate to find/pay for parking so this is perfect!!!! Open! Open! Open!

  • AM May 4, 2011 (3:42 pm)

    looking forward to trying something new!!

  • Kayleigh May 4, 2011 (3:42 pm)


  • Trudy May 4, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    O boy O boy O boy!

  • jd May 4, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    This is terrible news! Now I will have to find another part time job to be able to afford eating here as often as I will want to.

  • Astrogirl May 4, 2011 (3:55 pm)

    I am so there. I used to visit once a week when I worked downtown. Parking is so difficult during the evening by Pike Place. Welcome back to W. Seattle Mulu. You know I am coming for my favorite – Doro Watt.

  • AJL May 4, 2011 (3:56 pm)

    Ethiopian…so exiting…love it and will be there.

  • yarncore May 4, 2011 (4:03 pm)

    Um, Pan Africa is one of my favorite places EVER! That’s wonderful, I can go there after trips to the yarn store!

  • lena May 4, 2011 (4:04 pm)

    So excited! I love Ethiopian food but can’t eat butter. So happy to have it here with vegan options!

  • tw May 4, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    karibuni marafiki!

  • wsgolfer May 4, 2011 (4:21 pm)

    Awesome!! I visited PanAfrican in the market at least weekly when I worked down there. Great food! This makes me unreasonably happy!.

  • Tony S May 4, 2011 (4:27 pm)

    …what he said!

  • Haile Selassie May 4, 2011 (4:34 pm)

    This is AWESOME news. Thank you Mr. Abate and please consider making it easy to do takeout.

  • Julie May 4, 2011 (5:13 pm)

    Yay! Injera in WS, finally!

  • Wet May 4, 2011 (5:26 pm)

    Finally! so excited! Welcome back to W. Seattle, you won’t be disappointed.

  • JD May 4, 2011 (5:30 pm)

    super, dooper excited! Take down the viaduct, no reason to ever leave West Seattle!!!

  • Cheryl May 4, 2011 (5:33 pm)

    Wow, this is GREAT news!

  • eileen May 4, 2011 (6:40 pm)

    Great news! Welcome!!!

  • PJB May 4, 2011 (6:42 pm)

    When? When? When? Yahoo!

  • Kerri May 4, 2011 (6:50 pm)

    i can’t wait for this to open! i love west seattle!

  • soosan May 4, 2011 (6:54 pm)

    YAHOO! My favorite downtown lunch spot!

  • Timh2o May 4, 2011 (6:56 pm)

    Left or right hand, cant remember…

  • soosan May 4, 2011 (7:44 pm)

    @Timh2o: It’s “eat with your right hand…”

  • Weattlite May 4, 2011 (7:51 pm)

    Could West Seattle get any better? I didn’t think so, but apparently I was wrong. OMG this is TERRIFIC news!!!

  • cj May 4, 2011 (7:55 pm)

    Wow this sounds impressive. Cant wait to see it done. Welcome to WS!

  • d May 4, 2011 (8:24 pm)

    Yay for more yum!

  • jessiesk May 4, 2011 (9:21 pm)

    Yummmm! This is awesome.

  • maplesyrup May 4, 2011 (9:37 pm)

    Yeah this is cool. Welcome (back) to the neighborhood.

  • kate May 4, 2011 (10:14 pm)

    HI MULU!! It’s Kate from the Phinney farmer’s market here. Congrats on the new space. IT’S A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ME!!! Pan Africa is my favorite restaurant. I love that I get to eat Pan Africa on Fridays at the Phinney Ridge Farmer’s Market AND West Seattle AND downtown. See you soon!

  • grr May 4, 2011 (11:32 pm)


    can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait.

  • Karlynn May 5, 2011 (6:41 am)

    This is so awesome!!!! I love this place & am so excited to have them in our ‘hood! Welcome Mulu, we’re glad you’re here!

  • Cali101 May 5, 2011 (7:48 am)

    Can’t wait! So excited! West Seattle is gaining such a great variety of restaurants. Happy to have vegan options too! YAY YAY YAY!

  • luke May 5, 2011 (8:37 am)

    Bump for more Vegan spots! Love that more and more vegan menu items are popping up all over.

  • sun*e May 5, 2011 (8:43 am)

    I will definitely miss Ho-Win but all the positive posts above give me hope about this new restaurant…even if it’s not tasty Chinese food. Welcome to the neighborhood.

  • kate May 5, 2011 (9:20 am)

    Mulu and his family are masters of taste. I think they serve up the best Ethiopian food around town. The dishes are light and not overly oily. Plus, they are the nicest people and food tastes extra extra good when nice people are serving it.

  • jns May 5, 2011 (9:27 am)

    This is great! I lived a block from PA for years and ate there often! I would love a breakfast option like they occassionally have had downtown.

  • grb May 5, 2011 (10:25 am)

    Good news for us in WS.Like everyone else has said, so excited to have your food in our hood.

  • Foy boy May 5, 2011 (10:28 am)

    I will still miss the Ho Win It was the only close chines food in the area. But good luck to the new owner. Can’t wait to come in for good food.

  • Jaime May 5, 2011 (10:33 am)

    I’m so excited for Mulu! Pan Africa is some of the best Ethiopian around and making it available in more neighborhoods is awesome!

  • Susan May 5, 2011 (10:45 am)

    Please open sooner!

  • Silly Goose May 5, 2011 (11:31 am)

    The menu sounds amazing, so excited you are coming to this area. Could pose very dangerous to my waist line that you are within walking distance of my home!! YAY looking forward to your opening.

  • Amy May 5, 2011 (11:57 am)

    What great news! Just one more thing that makes me excited about moving back to WS! I hope they’ll offer their cooking classes at this location sooner rather than later.

  • A May 5, 2011 (12:05 pm)

    Ethiopian food is one of the very few types we are entirely missing on the peninsula. I am THRILLED to see this. Welcome, welcome, welcome!!!!

  • Andy May 5, 2011 (2:01 pm)

    Why did Ho Win leave? I loved that place and will miss it..Oh well maybe I will try African.

  • vegan girl May 5, 2011 (2:20 pm)

    YAY! Vegan! Thank you. I will come and visit for sure.

  • Silly Goose May 5, 2011 (9:30 pm)

    Speaking of Vegan has anyone tried the new resturant in the Link Building?

    • WSB May 5, 2011 (11:01 pm)

      SG … I believe earlier coverage of Chaco Canyon has included some comments, as well as the forum, so if you search for “Chaco Canyon” via the search box that’ll probably come up … TR

  • grr May 6, 2011 (11:29 pm)

    only thing left is a great Dim Sum place, and we never have to leave.


  • Marge May 9, 2011 (2:47 pm)

    so nice! love these guys. now I can get some tasty vegan food to take to Beveridge Pub, yes!

  • jude May 9, 2011 (4:12 pm)

    Welcome! Looking forward to you arriving in the neighborhood!

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