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Bando Belly in Peckham Levels
Photograph: Bando Belly

Peckham restaurant Bando Belly burned down and there’s a GoFundMe to save it

Help rebuild the soul food restaurant

Written by India Lawrence

The Peckham soul food joint Bando Belly suffered a tragedy last week after a fire destroyed the restaurant’s kitchen. The blaze was sparked by a malfunctioning fuse box which exploded early in the morning on Wednesday May 11.

One of the co-founders, Naz Ramadan, has started a GoFundMe to help rally support to restore the beloved venue in Peckham Levels. So far she has raised £1,723 of the £10,000 goal. 

Bando Belly Peckham fire
Photograph: Bando Belly

‘I've been cheffing it up for ten years and poured my heart into Peckham’s Bando Belly for the last year. On Wednesday, I woke up to the news that the fuse box in my kitchen had exploded in the early hours, going unnoticed as a fire ripped through my unit in Peckham Levels,’ said Ramadan on the funding page. 

‘I am devastated, but I won't let this be the end of Bando Belly or me. My business just turned 1 in January; Bando Belly was finding its feet as a fledgling business and the fire couldn’t have come at a worse time,’ she added. 

Ramadan explained that unless she reaches her fundraising goal, she won’t be able to pay off loans and debts she took out to start the business last year. She is also worried for her staff who rely on her wages to live.

Naz Ramadan from Bando Belly
Photograph: Bando Belly

Bando Belly first opened in January 2021 and quickly became popular for its ‘soul food fusion’, serving up deep-fried Oreos, Philly cheesesteak x banh mi hybrids and lobster tacos. The unique dishes combine flavours ‘inspired by America, the Caribbean, South East Asia and London’s diverse food heritage’.

Fans of the joint have taken to social media to share their support. 

AJ tweeted: ‘There’s was a fire in one of the best kitchens in south London, Bando Belly. The amount of work I know the owners have put into it breaks my heart to see it all burnt down.’ 

If you want to help them get back on their feet, you can donate to Bando Belly’s GoFundMe here.

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