Butcheries Showoff New Look

Elsa Butchery in Hayahulet Mazoria near Zerhiun Building, Bole District was packed with lunchtime customers on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

This was the first day that the butchery opened its doors after a hiatus of  16-day for lent, Fisleta, fast observed by adherents of Orthodox and Catholic Christianity in commemoration of Saint Mary’s exile.

Slow music is playing in the background as Mesfin Asfaw and his friend Eyob Abera joined other groups and individuals eating and waiting to place their orders.

Elsa Butchery, established 23 years ago by Elsabet Wedajo, is a favourite of 40-year old Mesfin, who has been coming to the butchery loyally for the last 15 years. He lives close by in Bole District and stops at the restaurant at least four times a week.

“The place always catches my attention and wins my preference as the management keeps its services and facilities up to date,’’ he told Fortune.

Elsa Butchery is one of the trendy establishments that have sprung up with fancy decor, modern lighting, chic furnishings and up-to-date facilities that parade a considerable capital investment.

The meat, considered a delicacy, is from the famous Harari strain of cattle raised in the Harar region and is freshly processed at Legetafo Abattoirs, a slaughterhouse located just outside the city.

Elsa Butchery offers Kurt, raw meat cubes and Tibis, stir-fry beef, serves a kilogram of its meat for 360 Br. Although health experts warn about the negative effects of eating raw meat, many Ethiopians eat raw meat regularly.

Alongside its beef offerings, the butchery serves goat meat every Tuesday and Sunday.

For clients who do not eat beef, the butchery offers chicken meals as an alternative.

“We have our own standard,’’ said Befekru Desta, son of Elsa and manager of the butchery. “Even at the abattoirs, we use our own knives.’’

On top of this, the meat hooks we use are washed and cleaned three times a daily. The butchery operates with 33 permanent employees who are required to take medical exams every three months, according to Befekru.

Another prominent butchery in town is Kebede W. Michael Butchery, aka ChinkloSpecial Butchery, located around Hayahulet in Yeka District.

The butchery has four branches, Abinet, Bole, Saris, Addis Sefer and Hayahulet, and is known for its attractive ambiance. These high-end butcheries are a world apart from the more traditional operations that are known for their shabby looks and lighting.

Chinklo employs over 120 permanent employees working in its four branches. It is also the sole supplier of beef to Sheraton Addis, one of the five-star hotels in the city.

Alongside its beef offerings, the butchery serves goat meat every Tuesday and Sunday.

The interior design of the butchery has eye-catching walls decorated with ceramic, glass and other decorative materials.

The slaughterhouse has a capacity of processing 300 cattle a day, reaching up to 4,000 cattle a day during the holiday season, and supplies 1,150 butchery shops.

It uses its own refrigerated vans to transport the meat from Addis Abeba Abattoirs Enterprise in Qera to its branches and to make deliveries.

The butchery charges between 200 Br and 400 Br for a kilogram of meat. They also offer the same Harari beef variety as Elsa Butchery along with others.

“The price changes depending on the types of beef,’’ Kidane Kebede, a manager at the butchery shop, said.

The investment in ambiance and quality service have paid off by attracting regulars and walk-in customers to the butchery.

Sileshi Sihine, a  long distance runner and Olympic medalist, is a patron of Kebede Butchery.

Toward the end of last month, he was at the butchery along with some of his friends eating kurtwhen Fortunecaught up with them.

“I come here to enjoy the meat and the service at least once a week,’’ Sileshi told Fortune.

To alter the environment of its shops, the trend-setting butcheries have hired interior designers and craftsmen.

A late entrant to the fancy looks of butcheries is Gize Bar & Restaurant, located near Mesqel Flower in Kirkos District, which also hired interior designers to create the modern interior designs.

Established two months ago, Gize Bar used traditional themes and decor to furnish the store.

Yohaness Dutte and Natnael Shebeshi, two interior designers, were hired to give the Bar the new look.

Yohaness, 38, a craftsman, has over two decades of experience decorating different butcheries and hotels. Natnael has similarly worked as an interior designer in Hawassa, Gonder and Meqelle. He graduated in 2006 from Addis Abeba University in design and paint.

The butcheries depend on Addis Abeba Abattoir Enterprise, one of six Abattoirs in the city along with Sululta, Sebeta, Burayu, Kara Abattoir and Aqaqi abattoirs.

The slaughterhouse has a capacity of processing 300 cattle a day, reaching up to 4,000 cattle a day during the holiday season, and supplies 1,150 butchery shops.

Ataklit G. Michael, a public relations expert at the Enterprise, said that their client list is growing.

“We are trying hard to meet the ever-growing demand,” he told Fortune.

Some businesses are also changing their look for the upcoming Ethiopian New Year. Almaz Kitfo, located around Hayahulet area and with branches in Sendafa and Beqe towns, is one. Almaz specializes in Kitfo, a traditional dish of seasoned and minced raw beef.

“For the new year, we added some features to change the look of our business,” said Hiwot Asegdew, the owner of the hotels. “We changed the hooks and installed a network system to provide a free wifi internet service.”

Amaya Hotel, another establishment in the city, has also changed its interior look to keep up with the fast changing trend of renovating the interiors of butchery shops.

For the renovation, the owners used the 16-day lent period to change the meat hooks with the latest material and cleaned the entire shop.



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