Chuku’s, the world’s first and only Nigerian tapas restaurant, is launching a campaign to secure its long-term future and ensure it can continue to celebrate all of Nigeria’s culture on Tottenham’s high street.
The Chuku’s Six Week Charge will encourage all foodies, lovers of Nigerian culture, and supporters of independent businesses to book a table at Chuku’s between 31st October and 11th December, enjoy a delicious meal, soak up the signature Chuku’s vibes, and tell their friends and family about the campaign.
Chuku’s first opened its doors in Tottenham in 2020, five weeks before the first COVID lockdown. The brainchild of sibling duo and co-founders Ifeyinwa and Emeka Frederick, Chuku’s unique celebration of Nigerian culture received instant acclaim, with The Guardian’s Grace Dent calling the restaurant “a delicious, life-changing crash course in Nigerian tapas”. It was hailed by the Evening Standard’s Jimi Famurewa as “a rousing expression of cultural pride that gets you up on your feet”. Labour MP Diane Abbott said it was “the best Nigerian food I’ve had in any restaurant”. Earlier this year, Chuku’s made SquareMeal’s annual list of London’s Top 100 Restaurants.
Ifeyinwa Frederick, co-founder of Chuku’s, commented: “Chuku’s is the product of community belief – we were able to open our restaurant in the first place thanks to the support and love shown by supporters of our crowdfunding campaign and their faith in our vision of a homage to Nigerian culture. Now, we’re asking people to come down, enjoy some jollof quinoa and a palm wine, so we can keep sharing everything beautiful about our culture for years to come.”
Despite rave reviews and a loyal customer following, Chuku’s has been no stranger to the adverse effects of the last few years. Successive lockdowns and a growing cost-of-living crisis means that the restaurant is now facing closure.
Ifeyinwa and Emeka are aiming to get 600 bookings over the six week charge, or 100 bookings a week, in order to get Chuku’s back on track and see them stay open to 2023 and beyond.
Since opening, Chuku’s has made its mark not only as a destination for foodies, but also for everybody wanting to enjoy and learn more about Nigerian culture more broadly. Earlier this month, the restaurant celebrated Nigerian Independence Day in style, with a literary lunch featuring performances from up-and-coming names in Nigerian literature followed by an evening service soundtracked by Jimi D Baldheaded Guy, a renowned DJ instrumental in creating awareness of Afrobeats in the UK urban music scene.
The siblings are optimistic about reaching their target with the help of the Nigerian community, Tottenham locals, and keen foodies.
Emeka Frederick commented: “Over the past three years (with a few lockdowns along the way), Chuku’s has become an important venue for not only the Nigerian community, but people from all walks of life with an open mind and a curiosity to explore the world. We love being able to serve up a slice of Lagos in North London, and hope we’ll be able to continue to do so. We know firsthand how strong the power of community is, and can’t wait to see that in action over the next six weeks.”
Will Troost-Ekong, captain of Nigeria’s national football team and Watford centre-back, commented: “What Ifeyinwa & Emeka have done at Chuku’s is simply incredible: carefully selecting recipes from all over Nigeria, adding their personal touch, and presenting them as sharing tapas in a welcoming, social and energetic place. A must-try for everybody – from the people trying Nigerian food for the first time to the 9ja people out there that are missing the chop from back home!”
Benjamina Ebuehi, cook, author, and former Great British Bake Off quarter-finalist, commented: “I love Chuku’s not only because the food is wonderful (I’m addicted to the moi moi and chin chin cheesecake), but the energy and warmth you get as soon as you walk through the door is always so special. Chuku’s is a real gem!”
Philip Eeles, co-founder of Honest Burgers with whom Chuku’s has previously collaborated, commented: “”I love Chuku’s! Amazing food packed with Nigerian soul, run by passionate founders and a super fun restaurant vibe. Nothing else really likely it in London – simple!””
The founders Ifey and Emeka are happy to speak to media if interested.
Guests can book their table for the six week charge here.