Tefera Zewdie, owner of the Ethiopian restaurants Dukem in Washington, D.C., has died at the age of 66.

According to an update on the restaurants' website, Tefera Zewdie, the founder and owner of beloved Ethiopian restaurants Dukem in D.C. and Baltimore, died Nov. 14. He was 66.

He was well-known in the local Ethiopian community as a trailblazing businessman who helped many others start their own businesses or find work.

In 1997, Zewdie opened Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant on 12th and U Street as a carryout and market. He provided the pancake-like Ethiopian flatbread injera, as well as Ethiopian cooking ingredients. He expanded to adjacent storefronts and opened a sit-down restaurant that wrapped around the corner at 1114-1118 U St. NW as the business grew in popularity.

"When I first started my business, I didn't have much money," Zewdie told DCist/WAMU in 2015. "My brother gave me a loan to start a take-out business." I was always cooking for my friends, and they kept telling me that I should sell what I cooked."

The Zewdie family could not be reached for comment right away.

Following his death, members of the community have posted about Zewdie on social media.

"After overcoming insurmountable obstacles over the years, Dukem Carryout grew up to be a... well known Ethiopian restaurant and an entertainment spot, not only in the DMV but across the United States," one Facebook user wrote. "In addition to providing services to patrons from all walks of life who come to the facility to enjoy an Ethiopian traditional meal and be entertained, Dukem restaurant has also provided employment to countless people over the years."