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New Ownership at 7-River Mart

7-River Mart (250 11th St. NE) is under new management.

The new owners are Dawit Demissie (pronounced Dah-wee, 34) and his brother Nahom (Nay-home), who goes by Nathan or Nate (35).

Both brothers were born and raised in Ethiopia and came to Kentucky for high school. They later attended college in Arkansas.

Dawit Demissie with Mr. Ko on Ko’s last day at the store, Jan. 2, 2024. Photo: A. Buhr

Why Did They Come?

Nathan and Dawit came to the area to be nearer to their sister and her family, who live in Virginia (you will sometimes see their nephew helping behind the counter). The brothers banded together to purchase a house in Maryland. You will maybe meet Nathan’s fiancèe, Peggy, or Dawit’s significant other, Margaret. The brothers also have two dogs called Milo and Fluffy.

About a year ago, they decided to join together and own a store. In doing so, they were following in the footsteps of their parents, who operated convenience stores in Ethiopia when the brothers were younger.

They picked 7-River Mart specifically, first visiting the store about a year ago. But why? “Everyone likes 7-River Mart and it is so cheerful and lively,” Nathan explained. They took over Dec. 19, 2023. The two say they want to keep it a happy store, welcoming dogs and kids.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Nathan said. “I love the people.”

Mr. Ko Leaving!

Mr. Su “Sam” Ko is retiring to Fairfax, Virginia after 11 years of hard work. He had sold goodies, dinner, toiletries, Lucky Charms and so much more. “He was kind to everyone in the neighborhood and never got upset,” said neighbor Hannah Weiss. He would even sometimes give children free ice cream or shortbread cookies.

Ko said he will miss “everyone; the whole neighborhood, including the dogs,” and hopes that the store will stay friendly and fun.

The authors with Mr. “Sam” Ko, Jan. 2, 2024. Photo: E. O’Gorek/CCN

The authors are grade 3 students at Maury Elementary (1250 Constitution Ave. NE), frequent 7-River Mart shoppers and erstwhile members of the Polite Piggy’s after-school newspaper club. Do you have a story written by a cub reporter or reporters in elementary, middle or high school that you think should be shared with the Capitol Hill community? Email us: liz@hillrag.com

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