Reimaging the original Rosettenville
The first ever Nando’s was opened by Rob Brozin and Fernando Duarte in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, in 1987. Nobody could have known at the time that it was the birth of a peri-peri chicken legend that would grow into one of South Africa’s most loved global brands. More than 30 years later, Nando’s went back to the original Rosettenville restaurant and gave it some design love to bring it up to date.
Tracy Lynch, Creative Director of the Nando’s Design Programme and Creative Director and Founder of Studio Leelynch, was tasked with the design transformation. “One of the qualities I love most about South African design is the inclusion of craft elements,” she says. “Through the inclusion of craft we acknowledge the past, but by juxtaposing these handmade elements with cutting-edge technology we create a new and unique chapter, one which consciously highlights our history and journey as SA designer-makers.”
Tracy believes that interiors that tickle our senses create an experience that keeps us coming back for more. “As an interior designer I get to experience this first-hand, the privilege and challenge of creating engaging and authentic spaces for Nando’s,” she says. “This guides me in my role as the creative director of the Nando’s design programme, to recognise, harness and amplify the potential I see in the design and craft communities of South Africa and vision links that enhance the Nando’s design approach. While the chicken and the vibey environment of Nando’s restaurants – casas as we affectionally call them – have the taste and hearing senses covered, it’s largely up to the interiors to cover the rest. Each light, each chair, and every single pattern represents thousands of hours of work, hundreds of hands and minds, and represents millions of Rands going into the South African economy. Nando’s Rosettenville was a privilege to redesign and align with the passion and South African energy inherent to this incredible brand.”