Nando’s Bay Street, Toronto, ON - New Flagship Store Opens

05/09/14 at 09:42 AM

 Nando’s Flame-Grilled Chicken at 832 Bay Street, Toronto, is the new flagship location for Canada. It is located at the site of the McLaughlin Motor Showroom, built in 1925. In 2008, a glass & steel modern point tower was added to the site but the original building forms a retail podium and the original façade was preserved. Nando’s Flame-Grilled Chicken resides within this retail podium and its entrance is located at the corner of Bay Street and Grenville streets.

The client enlisted the help of Aria Group to bring the unique Nando’s Peri-Peri dining experience, very popular in the UK and United States, to the Canadian Nando’s  Flame-Grilled Chicken stores. Each Nando's location is a boldly designed space that has the Nando's "feel".  This is expressed by the contrasting use of textural and natural materials, such as reclaimed wood, metal, and leather, against vivid pops of color and original artwork from South Africa. The South African art in this location incorporates beaded animals called "Monkeybiz" and an oversized painting by the South African graffiti artist Kilmany-Jo Liversage.

The heritage elements that were preserved in this building are the exterior facade and entry doors, detailed white plaster ceiling, and white plaster columns and capitals. The design relates to the heritage and detailing of the building, but gives each element a playful twist to highlight the character of the Nando's Flame-Grilled Chicken brand. The formal detailed paneled walls in the main dining room are constructed out of reclaimed painted barnwood; the order counter die wall is an installation of mismatched pieces of detailed trim which are painted an intense green; the tile floor at the entry is a twist on the original black and white mosaic floor; formal detailed millwork at the Beverage/Condiment counter is created from a unique blackened raked wood.

The main dining room has a more formal feel due to the detailing of the paneled walls, however, this formality is juxtaposed against the whimsical beaded booth cages and a yarn bomb that clads a non-heritage column.  The beaded structures are constructed of blackened steel rods and brightly colored wooden beads that were all hand-strung by artist Paul Punke. Another unique element in the main dining room is a large communal table that is paired with reclaimed stadium seats from all over North America -- including stadium seats from Maple Leaf Gardens.

The Wine Room provides a warm and vibrant setting for semi-private dining or events.  The walls and ceiling are almost entirely clad in reclaimed barnwood, set against the vibrant graffiti painting by Kilmany-Jo Liversage, the subtle glow of back-lit wine bottles, and a unique installation of reclaimed wine corks.

The result is a space that retains the classic lines of the original McLaughlin building showroom, but resonates with the vibrant, colorful flair characteristic of the Nando’s brand; an integrated whole that fits right into this Toronto neighborhood.