Tucson, AZ

New International Sports Bar Opening in Popular Restaurant

Greyson F

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Enjoy Ethiopian food and an international sporting event.Zeynep Sümer/Unsplash

When wanting to watch international sporting events, options around Tucson are not great. You might be able to find a high profile soccer match, and there are times a rugby game or two might be found, but other than this, if you’re a fan of different sports, international teams, or you want to watch a team from back home, you’re out of luck. That is, until now. 

Zemam’s Ethiopian is an established restaurant here in town. It’s been open for nearly 30 years and it’s not looking back. In fact, the Rio Nuevo Development Board just approved a half-million-dollar investment into the restaurant. The hefty price tag will bring with it additional parking, more seating, a brand new patio area, and an international sports bar. 

The international sports bar will make it that much easier to enjoy more sports than what you’re accustomed to finding at sports bars throughout Tucson. The Rio Nuevo group decided to give Zemam’s Ethiopian the investment not only because it will attract visitors thanks to its unique food and new international sports destination, but because it’s looking to pump more money into the Sunshine Mile, which isn’t always the most walkable area of town. 

The restaurant does have two locations in Tucson. Currently only Zemam’s, Too! At 119 East Speedway is open. This is because the 2731 East Broadway location is currently under construction so the newly approved renovations can be added on. 

Amanuel Gebremariam is the founder of Zemam’s Ethiopian. He fled his homeland over 40 years ago as a refugee and, eventually, found himself in Tucson. While he left his country, he did miss the food his family would prepare. So, he started to seek out the unique tastes of Ethiopian cuisine but discovered he couldn’t find it in Tucson. So, he decided to open his own Ethiopian restaurant to spread his love of food to anyone interested in trying. The original restaurant had enough room for five tables and opened in 1993. The restaurant has grown significantly since then, and in this time it has become a family business as well, with his sons helping Amanuel assist him with the two restaurants. 

There is no set date for when construction will be completed, although word of this will come out shortly. So, in the meantime, while you wait for the newly added international sports bar, you can stop by Zemam’s Too Tuesday through Thursday from 11 AM until 8 PM, on Friday and Saturday from 11 AM until 9 PM, and on Sunday 11 AM until 8 PM. Zemam’s is closed on Monday. 

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