HYDE PARK — Nando’s Peri-Peri appears poised to replace Clarke’s in Hyde Park, according to recent building permits.
On Tuesday, the city issued permits to Burton Heiss, owner of Nando’s Peri-Peri, for $70,000 in interior renovations for the former Clarke’s at 1447 E. 53rd St.
On Aug. 15, the University of Chicago said it would evict Clarke’s for paying rent once since November and a spokeswoman at the time said the university would announce a new tenant in the coming weeks.
Calmetta Coleman, a spokeswoman for the university, declined to answer questions about Nando's building permits.
"In the coming weeks, we expect to announce a new restaurant tenant that will bring an exciting new dining option to Hyde Park and complement existing food offerings on 53rd Street," Coleman said.
A spokesman from Nando’s Peri-Peri said the restaurant does not discuss real estate plans before it is ready to announce them publicly.
The South African chicken restaurant has six locations in Chicago, most recently opening restaurants in Streeterville and the South Loop.
Some locations do serve alcohol, but there currently there is no liquor license application for the Hyde Park location, according to city records.
According to the city permits issued so far, the new restaurant will redo the interior and kitchen of the storefront and will update the façade, but it remains unclear when the location will open.
Neighbors had hoped a local African American-owned restaurant serving barbeque or breakfast would replace Clarke's.
The chain specializes in chicken prepared in a mix of South African, Portuguese and Mozambican styles using piri-piri sauces using hot peppers and has more than 1,000 outlets in 30 countries.
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