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Mama Ayesha’s Looking to Stay Open Later on Calvert

by Prince Of Petworth August 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm 6 Comments

1967 Calvert Street, NW

The liquor license placard at Mama Ayesha’s says:

“Applicant requests a Change of Hours of operation, alcoholic beverage sales and consumption, and sidewalk café.”

If approved new hours would be Sunday through Saturday 10:00 am – 1:00 am (12am for sidewalk cafe.)

For those not familiar – they’ve been around before almost all of us – from their website:

“Our founder, Mama Ayesha Abraham, was born in the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem in the late 1800’s. After running 24 farms by the age of 21, she came to the United States in the late 1940’s and was hired as a cook for the Syrian Embassy.

After toiling at the embassy and working at several D.C. restaurants, she opened her first restaurant in 1960, Calvert Cafe. The booming cafe served ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, and U.S. officals.

Known as the Calvert Cafe until Mama Ayesha’s death in 1993, the building was renamed in her honor in 1994. Now run by her nephews and great nephews, although Mama Ayesha is no longer with us, her memory and recipes remain.”

You can see their menu here.


  • Anon

    My dad moved to DC from Beirut in the late 60s. He and other Middle Eastern transplants used to come here, long long long before mezze became chic and trendy. It was, and still is, the Real Deal.

  • B’dale Res

    Will they be painting Trump on that mural?

  • Nancy

    It was officially Calvert Cafe, but we called it Mama Ayesha’s long before they put that name on the outside.

  • o2bncdg

    And Helen Thomas of the White House Press Corps was there almost every night in her booth.

  • neighbor

    My mom has told me stories about eating here in the 60’s!


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