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Stand Tall, Shop Small for OKC: Windsor District spotlight
The Windsor District boasts a lot of firsts. Oklahoma City’s first Braum’s and first 7-11 are both located on NW 23rd, along with first of many international cuisines the area has become known for, including the state’s only Ethiopian restaurant.
“When I came to Oklahoma City from Florida, I realized we needed some diversity in the cuisine,” said Mimi Younis, owner of Queen of Sheba, 2308 N. MacArthur. “I knew I could be the one to bring the Ethiopian culture and cuisine to my new city.”
Ethiopian dishes are characterized by the variety of spices used to give them their exotic taste. Injera, the traditional Ethiopian bread, is served with every entrée. The traditional way of eating is with fingers, so a bite sized piece of injera is broken off to pick up a mouthful of the chosen dish. A variety of meats are used in Ethiopian cuisine, along with many vegetarian options.
Younis arrived in Oklahoma City in 2005. After a successful retail career in Florida, she set her sights on opening a restaurant. “That first day we were open, we had done no advertising and 40 people walked in and I knew we were going to make it,” she said. “People in Oklahoma are wonderful, and they have supported us so much.”
That support was never more evident that during the pandemic. “Like everyone it hurt us and affected our business, but we just continued, we offered carryout and our customers came,” she added. “They would even call to just check on us and make sure we were doing ok.”
And when the doors opened for customers to dine at the restaurant, Younis said it was heaven. “Oh, I just hugged them and thanked them, I was so happy.”
Queen of Sheba’s customers come from all over Oklahoma, along wiht Kansas and Texas. “They come from all directions and since we are centrally located it is easy to find us.”
Younis knows that people can be intimidated when trying a new cuisine, so she and her staff work to make sure it’s the best experience. “We ask questions and explain so they are comfortable and will enjoy what they’re eating. We connect with our customers.”
The connection Younis has created, she said, is genuine and unbelievable, “We have created a family, a big, huge family.”
Join us in supporting local by looking out for the latest district highlight on VeloCityOKC.com, using the hashtag #ShopSmallForOKC, and following @okcchamber on social media to get the latest updates on the campaign.
(Editor’s note: The Windsor District is located on NW 23rd from I-44 west to Peniel, between NW 20th and 36th.)