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Nando’s PERi-PERi, the South African-Portuguese restaurant known worldwide for its spicy flame-grilled chicken, will celebrate the opening of its flagship Chicago restaurant on September 4 at 155 N. Michigan Avenue. This new and highest profile location, at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, marks the 12th Nando’s to open in and around Chicago over the past two years.
Every Nando’s is unique and painstakingly designed, with earthy textures and bright colors that reflect Nando’s sunny African-Portuguese heritage. With thousands of pieces of original works of art that are a constant reminder of where the restaurant came from, Nando’s has become the largest collector of South African contemporary art in the world.
Vibrant South African designs provide a unifying theme at the new Michigan Avenue restaurant. One of the most striking features is a 21-foot installation ingeniously crafted from 6,800 repurposed aluminum cans. The cans, ‘upcycled’ from the popular Warrenville-based Two Brothers microbrewery, are transformed into pendant lights, creating a grand chandelier effect. Suspended over the main stairwell and powder-coated in seven different colors, the fixture was designed by Tulsha Booysen, a 19-year-old student from Cape Town, South Africa, in collaboration with Nando’s Chicago-based architecture firm. The artist, the youngest-ever finalist of Nando’s “Hot Young Designer” art contest, is flying to Chicago in August to oversee installation of her creation.
Supporting South African designers is one of Nando’s core ideals, and the company also worked with a team of artists to bring decorative chairs, lighting and ceiling panels from South Africa to Chicago for an added layer of artisan craftsmanship.