Nando’s PERi-PERi Grows, Artfully, in Chicago

Nando’s PERi-PERi, the South African-Portuguese chain known for its spicy flame-grilled chicken, opened its newest Chicago-area restaurant, in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood, in June.

24-ViaEmilia Nandos-LakeviewThis marks the company’s second of three planned units for the Windy City. The first opened May 9 in the West Loop and a third is slated to open in the Lincoln Park/New City neighborhood in September.

Every Nando’s is unique, featuring earthy textures and bright colors that reflect its African-Portuguese heritage. With thousands of pieces of original works of art that reflect the concept’s roots, Nando’s claims to have become the largest collector of South African contemporary art in the world.

In the United States alone, there are more than 6,000 pieces of original South African art in Nando’s restaurants. Worldwide, more than 8,000 unique pieces of art are on display. “We could have bought off-the-shelf décor and settled for being just another chain rolling out cloned restaurants,” notes Burton Heiss, CEO of Nando’s PERi-PERi USA. “But we believe that authentic contemporary South African art can create truly surprising experiences and keep us
connected to our roots.”

Portions of the collection are on display in the new Lakeview unit. Original South African paintings are displayed beneath a ceiling made from repurposed wood lath strips.

Including the new Lakeview unit, Nando’s now operates 23 restaurants in and around Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

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