Free Celebration BBQ in the Park to Launch Tutu’s Ethiopian Table at Palmer Café

PALMER Park’s eagerly awaited new Lodge café will open to the public on Sunday 3rd March.

Award winning Tutu will be offering her delicious Ethiopian cuisine at the new café as well as drinks, snacks and cakes. In celebration of the café’s launch, Tutu is inviting residents to a free BBQ in the park on Sunday 3rd March from 12pm to 3pm. Vegan/vegetarian options will be available as well as drinks and cakes to buy. If local people would like to join Tutu to mark the special occasion, they need to RSVP by Friday 1st March to

Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said:

“I’m delighted we have found such a fantastic new tenant for Palmer Café, following our community letting process earlier this year and I’m very excited to visit the café when it opens in March. “Tutu is famous in Reading for her delicious Ethiopian fare, and I’m sure the new café will be very popular. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in making this happen. The new café will be a great benefit to the local community and I wish Tutu every success with her exciting new venture.” Tutu said: “I am thrilled that Reading Borough Council is giving me this opportunity to expand my Ethiopian Table to this wonderful new location in Palmer Park Café. I look forward to welcoming my new and old customers to my beautiful new venue from 3rd March, where I will offer my Ethiopian cuisine, as well hot drinks and snacks.” Reading Council awarded the new tenancy of the lodge café to Tutu Melaku, the founder and owner of Tutu's Ethiopian Table, back in November 2018. Council officers have been working with Tutu to bring the building back into use. The new venture replaces the Chalkboard Café, which closed in 2017. The café is located close to the park playground at the edge of Wokingham Road in east Reading. The first ‘Pavilion Refreshment Room’ was opened at this location in 1891 and the café still has elements of the original kitchen and fireplace features to present day.



Photo opportunity:

The media are welcome to attend the public launch of the café on 3rd March. RSVP by 1st March to if you would like to attend. The Council launched a community letting process in early 2018. The opportunity was advertised publicly through both the Council’s and Reading Voluntary Action’s (RVA’s) websites and networks.

About Tutu’s Ethiopian Table

Tutu, who moved to Reading in 1991, was born and grew up in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Her cooking has won a number of accolades, including Restaurant of the Year in the Pride of Reading awards, Innovative Business Award in London from the Habesha Business Association, an organisation that recognises excellence in Ethiopian businesses in the UK, Reading Food Hero as well as winner of the lovely lunch 2013 Retail awards. Her menu offers a tasty and nutritious selection of meat and vegetarian stews, served with the Ethiopian traditional pancake, Injera. Find out more about Tutu’s Ethiopian Table at