Commissioned by: Nando’s Chickenland PLC
Moreno Masey Architecture Studio.
In early 2015 Nando’s sought to revamp its restaurant in the tourist quarter of Whitechapel. Opened in 2010 and located in a prime setting on the busy Mile End Road, close to the vibrancy of London’s famous Brick Lane it quickly became a success with both locals and visitors alike, constantly busy with queues forming outside at peak times. Held in regard by customers for its food and the helpfulness of staff one of the few complaints registered on TripAdvisor and other review websites was that the layout was rather confused with the bustling restaurant becoming rather crowded at times, though overall the dining experience was highly rated by reviewers. Eager to enhance that experience even further Nando’s looked to award winning interior designers Moreno Masey to give the restaurant a fresh, new look with a revised layout.
The finished design is based on a circular space with various fixed seating configurations around the perimeter and a central island comprising straight and L-shaped seating runs while the intervening open space accords flexibility in terms of additional table and seat planning.
The curvature and angles of the existing walls required particular consideration as complex measurements, for which detailed templates were required, had to be factored into the design and fabrication of the seating while the whole project was under very tight time constraints.
The interior fit out makes extensive use of reclaimed timber adding effect. To help alleviate that overcrowded feeling some diners may experience in such a busy restaurant environment the use of booths provides for a more secluded dining experience and are an excellent provision for families or social groups on an outing.
A herringbone, zig-zag wall design with its bold yellow, purples and magenta forms a dramatic feature in the central ‘island’, complemented by Craftwood’s seating with distinctive diagonal stitch fluted backs.
With diamond pattern stitching adding an extra touch to Craftwood’s plain back seating in a distinctive yellow shade, the zingy look complements the Afro-Portuguese cuisine for which Nando’s is noted. The theme is further enhanced by booth seating finished in Yarwood Style Aubergine leather with striking yellow piping.
Meanwhile the elegant circular booths with the rich, deep purple of Yarwood Style Trafalgar leather assuming a delightful sheen under the ambient lighting, and the whole effect being pulled together by the patterned wallpaper and decorative fixtures, it all goes to lend a certain “wow” factor to the whole design.
The reconfigured restaurant was quickly bringing in customers old and new and while numbers remained high the crowding issues referred to by some previous diners appear to have been remedied. Noted by for its convivial atmosphere and being particularly attractive to family groups according to reviewers on TripAdvisor and several other customer satisfaction websites, the interior revamp and new layout seems to have increased the restaurant’s appeal with the latest advice from patrons to come early to ensure you get a table.