With the fried chicken boom already in full swing in Chicago, is peri peri chicken the next big thing in fowl? South African chain Nando's Peri-Peri thinks so, as it's planning two locations in Chicago, according to Chicago Real Estate Daily. The only current Nando's restaurants in the U.S. are in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland.
Nando's is looking to make a splash in Chicago, as the sites are on Randolph Row (953 W. Randolph) and in the forthcoming New City development at Halsted and Clybourn that will also house a movie theater, a Mariano's, a Dick's Sporting Goods, and much more. Aside from Eaters near our nation's capital, international travelers know Nando's and its addictive Portuguese-style chicken well—it's available at 1,100 locations in 23 countries. More domestic Nando's locations also appear to be in the works: CRED reports the chain is planning a "major announcement soon" and they're actively soliciting more locations via Facebook.
When Nando's gets its Chicago locations open it may have some serious local competition—from Fat Rice chef Abraham Conlon. The Reader's Mike Sula reports that Conlon has "been planning our own piri piri chicken assault on the Chicagoland area." There's few details on that yet, but Fat Rice, which serves a Macanese version of piri piri, has sounded the horn. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Nando's is planning three locations in Chicago, not just two that was previously reported. The third is on 670 W. Diversey.