Nando's Peri Peri, a Washington-based chain of Afro-Portuguese restaurants, is expanding into the Baltimore area.

The first Baltimore-area Nando's will open on Dec. 19 at the Waugh Chapel Towne Centre in Gambrills. The first downtown Baltimore location will open next spring on Baltimore and Paca streets. A lease for a third location, in Towson, has been signed, and more locations will follow, the company says.

Known for worldwide for its flame-grilled, marinated Peri-Peri chicken, the first Nando’s restaurant opened  in 1987 in Johannesburg, South Africa and has since spread to 27 countries and five continents.

Nando’s Peri-Peri made its U.S. debut in 2008 with the opening of a store on 7th Street in Washington's Chinatown. Eight other stores have followed in the D.C. area and Annapolis.

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