By Chelsea Neuling
Ofure Palace(3108 Cherokee Street) opened without fanfare in the former home of Kebab House on Cherokee Street. As its sign explains, Ofure Palace is a “West African and American”restaurant. It takes its name from its owner: Ofure Brandon.
Brandon grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and moved to St. Louis in 2016. She always loved to cook. Her mother inspired her the most. In her first restaurant, she is preparing soul food recipes from her home.
“It’s what I ate growing up. Cooking has always been something I do when I’m feeling down,” says Brandon.
She serves Nigerian dishes along with American, Indian and Mexican food. “We have a very vast menu,” Brandon explains.
She’s not kidding: The menu includes a long list of vegetarian and fish options, as well as unique dishes such as the “Goat Meat Pepper Soup.” You can get anything from gyros to spaghetti, although Brandon says her favorite is the okra soup.
Brandon says that she chose the Cherokee Street storefront due to a large amount of Africans and African Americans in the area. She believes Ofure Palace is the only Nigerian restaurant in south city.
The dining area has photos of Lagos, Nigeria, flags and African decor. Nigerian music videos play on the eatery’s TVs.
Catering for large events is available. Brandon says she is trying to obtain a liquor license and hopes to open up a connecting bar in the space next door.
“I make soul food from the heart and that’s what keeps people coming back for more,” says Brandon.
The restaurant seats about sixteen inside; there is also a huge outdoor patio area.
Ofure Palace is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m to 8 p.m and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Hours will change when a liquor license is obtained.