A Nigerian restaurant on the verge of closing down has received financial relief from Beyoncé.
Chuku’s restaurant, located in London, England, is one of the small businesses to benefit from the investment, beating out over 500 applicants in the area. According to the Miami Herald, siblings and owners of the restaurant, Ifeyinwa and Emeka Frederick, received $8,793.20 USD from Beyoncé’s foundation.
The unexpected blessing brings a great deal of relief for the entrepreneurs as COVID-19 had occurred just five weeks after the restaurant first opened its doors, and they never fully recovered, the brother and sister shared.
“Your fave foodie spot, our Nigerian tapas restaurant – is at risk of closure,” a post by the company read on Instagram. “Yes, despite our excellent press and rave reviews, we have been struggling. We’re more than just food and we’re proud to have brought our celebration of Nigerian culture to Tottenham’s High Road for the last 2.5 years. But we have been battered by the series of lockdowns, the subsequent staff shortages and a whole host of other challenges facing restaurants right now.”
Keeping them afloat has been a combination of local support and customers such as A-list celebrities, including Beyoncé who participated in their “Six Week Charge” challenge to secure 600 reservations in six weeks in the latter part of 2022.
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Coupled with community support and new funding, the restaurateurs have been afforded more time to bring their community together by celebrating Nigerian cuisine.
“This grant couldn’t be more welcome,” Emeka said, according to Miami Herald. “Chuku’s, like other restaurants that don’t have a financial reserve, has been battered by lockdowns and the cost of living crisis. Every day, we’re fighting to stay open to make it to our fourth birthday. This money will make that fight a little easier and allow us to continue celebrating Nigerian culture on Tottenham’s High Road for the time being.”
Ifeyinwa explained, “I still can’t quite believe that Beyoncé has backed our restaurant – it feels a bit surreal. We’d already felt her impact when she was in town and concertgoers chose Chuku’s for their pre-gig meal, but this is a whole other level.”