Nando’s PERi-PERi, the South African-Portuguese restaurant, known worldwide for its spicy flame-grilled chicken opens restaraunt in Naperville. The two-story restaurant at 6 W. Jefferson Avenue is one of Nando’s largest in the U.S. and its first in suburban Chicago. Hours of operation are: Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Nando’s, which operates restaurants in 23 nations from Australia to Zimbabwe, first moved to the United States in 2008. It set up shop in Washington, DC, and, since then, has opened more than two dozen restaurants in the nation’s capital, Maryland and Virginia. Nando’s first moved to Illinois last year and now has five locations in and near Chicago.
The Naperville restaurant seats 179 guests, including a large outdoor patio. Unique features include a salvaged tree trunk that perforates the second-level floor and connects with a communal table, and an oversized triptych by Cape Town street artist Kilmany-Jo Liversage in the main dining space.
Every Nando’s is painstakingly designed and completely unique, with earthy textures and bright colors that reflect its 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.
Nando’s has built an intensely loyal following by providing fresh food in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service. PERi-PERi, or African Bird’s Eye Chili, is 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,” Heiss explained. “Then we grill it over an open flame it and baste it with PERi-PERi sauce to our customers’ preferred spice. That’s what makes our chicken so addictive.”
Nando’s other Chicago locations are in the Loop, West Loop, the Clybourn Corridor section of Lincoln Park and Lakeview.