Mar 14, 2023 - Food and Drink

Zweli's Kitchen is moving into renovated Brightleaf Square in Durham

Zweli and Leonardo Williams, owners of Zweli's Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Zweli's

Zimbabwean restaurant Zweli's Kitchen is moving from its original location at the Oak Creek Village Shopping Center in Durham to Brightleaf Square in downtown, the restaurant's owners said Monday.

  • Its last day at Oak Creek Village was Monday, though its catering arm will continue operating.

Flashback: The restaurant's owners — Zimbabwean native Zweli Williams and Durham City Council member Leonardo Williams — opened Zweli's Kitchen five years ago, making it one of the only places to find South African cooking, like peri peri chicken, in the area.

The big picture: The move to Brightleaf, set for later this year, is part of a broader growth plan.

  • Leonardo says the couple's fine-dining concept Zweli's Ekhaya will open in the American Tobacco Campus next week.
  • Named one of our most anticipated restaurants of the year, Ekhaya will serve tapas using ingredients and inspiration from Southern African cuisine and African street food.
  • A third restaurant, Zweli's Cafe, is located on Duke University's campus.

Zoom in: Brightleaf Square had undergone extensive renovations in the past two years after being bought by Charlotte real estate investors Asana Partners.

  • Since then, several new restaurants have been signed on, including Mexican restaurant Fonda Lupita, Afters Dessert Bar, Emmy Squared Pizza and Greek restaurant Niko.

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