Abol Restaurant Closes After Rebranding, Return to Concept

Abol Ethiopian Restaurant closed last week after an unsuccessful attempt to rebrand the location, then returning to the original concept.

The location at 8626 Colesville Rd. was rebranded as Blu Nile Restaurant and Lounge with a launch shortly before the holidays.

The Abol owners had brought in two local men to assist with the rebranding, according to a history that has since been deleted from the Abol website, but is still on the Blu Nile site.

Donald “Ski” Johnson, a local musician, and Malcolm D. Alexander, founder of Promellwealth.com, among other interests, helped to revamp the menu. The management kept some Ethiopian dishes while adding American items such as burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, pork chops and a Sunday brunch.

The hours also were expanded to include late-night operations.

In an unpublished interview with the Source from early January, Johnson said, ““We want people to know that they can have a late-night cocktail. So many years I would come down to Silver Spring and 10 o’clock, it’s over. You can’t do nothing. That’s crazy.

“We offer a diverse situation for the customer where they come and just relax and have a drink and have good food and don’t have to go to bed at 10,” he added.

However, around the end of January, the Blu Nile’s outside sign was painted over and the interior sign was removed.

A staff person at the time told the Source the rebranding “didn’t work out,” and the original menu was back on the Abol website.

Over the last six weeks, the Source has made numerous attempts to contact Abol ownership, but the messages have not been returned.

Top photo taken on March 13 and the photo below on Feb. 3, both by David Lay.

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