Nando’s PERi-PERi opened its new-and-improved flagship location on F Street in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington. The new Nando’s is at 836 F Street, NW, just a block from the Capital One Arena, in the space once occupied by the Spy Museum.
Nando’s has closed its nearby restaurant on 7th Street in Chinatown, making way for a handsome new location with bespoke South African design.
“When Nando’s first opened in the United States in 2008, our very first restaurant was on 7th Street in Chinatown. That space has served us well,” says John Fisher, CEO of Nando’s PERi-PERi in the U.S. “But after fifteen years, it’s time for a serious upgrade. Nando’s fans can enjoy all their flame-grilled PERi-PERi favorites, served inside a brand-new location with custom furniture, creative lighting, and original paintings from contemporary South African artists and artisans.”
The new Nando’s at 836 F Street sits across from the National Portrait Gallery. The 3,100-square-foot restaurant features 82 seats. Nando’s has the largest collection of original South African contemporary art on display in the world, and the new F Street Nando’s will be no exception.
The company’s journey from the tip of Africa to the heart of DC began more than 35 years ago with a single location in Johannesburg. Nando’s now spans 24 nations from Australia to Zimbabwe. Landing stateside in 2008, the brand has since expanded to nearly 50 sites in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Chicago. Nando’s will soon spread its wings to Texas, with openings at a pair of Houston-area restaurants in advance of future expansion in Dallas and throughout the Lone Star State.
The concept’s popularity can be traced to PERi-PERi – or African Bird’s Eye Chilli – the heart and soul of the Nando’s experience. “We marinate our chicken in PERi-PERi for at least 24-hours, so the flavor goes right through to the bone,” Fisher explained. “Then we grill it over an open flame and baste it with PERi-PERi sauce to the customer’s preferred spice level. That’s what makes our chicken so addictive.” Nando’s sources all its PERi-PERi through 1,400 local farmers in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and South Africa who are empowered with up front access to funds, equipment, and seedlings as well as a guaranteed commitment by the company to buy the farmers’ crops at a fair price determined before the growing season even starts.
Nando’s intensely loyal following has not only been driven by its high-quality food, but also its friendly service presented in a relaxed atmosphere that elevates the typical fine-fast-casual experience. Every Nando’s location is uniquely designed with earthy textures and vibrant colors that reflect its sunny African heritage.