Nairobi Street Kitchen (NSK) has taken the Kenyan capital city by storm. The facility, which is located in the suburbs of Westlands Nairobi, comprises 11 restaurants, bars and entertainment joints-namely The Nood, Si Senor, Bird Exchange, Desi Loco, Fire & Dough, Spilt Milk, 68 Library, Buttr’dBuns, the NSK Bar and the Roof Top Bar. The place is dotted with artwork and graffiti which has proved to be a magnet to the young hip generation.
WoK highlights everything you need to know about NSK including the brains behind this novel idea.
The Background of the Owners
The Nairobi Street Kitchen is owned by– Alyana and Alyssa Popat. Their father Adil Popat is the billionaire founder of Simba Corp– a family conglomerate that has interests in hospitality, auto-sales, financial services and Real estate sectors.
One of their major subsidiaries is Simba Corp Hospitality – a company which manages Olare Mara Kempinski in the Maasai Mara game reserve and Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi and now NSK. Alyssa is the Head of Projects and Facilities while Alyanna is the Marketing Manager at Simba Colt Hospitality.
Alyssa’s background is in architecture at Parsons Schools of Design in New York. She graduated in 2017 from the institution.
Establishing Nairobi Street Kitchen
The construction of NSK was done in collaboration with Studio EM. The project which took four years to be completed drew inspiration from the things they love and places they have been to.
Their target market is the young generation who love fancy places and tasty foods. The sisters hired local artists who did the artwork and graffiti in the facility. The concept of creating different joints in the outdoor area was inspired by the Mexican culture which is new in the country.
While speaking with one of the local dailies, Emma Stinson who is the founder and creative director of Studio EM revealed that Nairobi Street Kitchen was their first project in East Africa.
“We didn’t exactly tiptoe into the East African market, rather, we jumped in and landed with a thud, thanks to the support from a really ambitious client. It was such an amazing project to work on with a fantastic client in Alyanna and Alyssa who also put their own unique spin on the project, the results are just awesome and we look forward to doing even more in the region,” the director of EM told the Standard.
The Motivation behind the joint
In the same interview, the sisters revealed that it is the love of different cuisines from a wide range of cultures across the world that prompted them to start the joint.
They had an opportunity to travel the world and enjoy the different meals and thought it wise to bring the meals closer to Kenyans who are not privileged to travel the world. They also noted that the journey of constructing the joint wasn’t a walk in the park.
“Returning home as an architecture graduate, I was looking for something to do and was thrown into the deep end at the age of 23 with an incomplete design project and spent four years there. I thought I knew everything, but after the first meeting I went home and broke down. I suddenly realized how serious this project was. I decided to learn everything from plumbing to building construction and modifying of containers and vehicles right away. Without doing everything myself, I wouldn’t have this awe of people in this industry,” explained Alyssa.
Partners of Nairobi Street Kitchen
Nairobi Street Kitchen is currently partnering with local and international brands such as the East African Breweries Limited (EABL), Ikwetta, Bila Shaka breweries, Bees with stories honey, Studio Em, Uva Wines, Kenya Originals, African Artisanal Tea, Spring Valley Coffee, Page One and Mayers Limited.