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Njuguna’s Place, 50-Year-Old Eatery Uhuru Kenyatta Frequented Before Presidency

Njuguna's Place
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

For over five decades now, Njuguna’s Place in Westlands along Waiyaki way stood as a beacon of union. Though rugged and simplistic in all aspects, the high and mighty always camped here to indulge and enjoy the city’s sumptuous Nyama choma. But, the latest on Njugunas closes down took many by surprise.

It all started when a Kenyan tweep took to Twitter and dropped the bombshell of this popular joint shutting down without divulging more information. His tweet sent a notion of a permanent shutdown while, in reality, the joint’s management is readying for refurbishment after 50 years of operations. Moments later, Kenyans took to the tweet’s thread to express their disappointment in one of the most popular eateries in Nairobi shutting down.

Njuguna's Place

Njuguna’s Place in Nairobi. Photo/ Citizen Digital.

Workers at the joint said that the owners want to construct a bigger and more appealing structure. So on the touchy subject of Njugunas closes down, it should not be a cause for alarm.  It means that the famous city eatery is just getting a makeover and will be back bigger and better.  In fact,  the renovation is long overdue, considering that it sits at the heart of  Nairobi’s commercial hub, Westlands, known for its high-end clubs and restaurants.

What Does Njuguna’s Sell? 

Njuguna’s Place is known for being one of the joints in Nairobi with the juiciest nyama choma. Its food and value are rated 4.5 on TripAdvisor.  You can visit the joint any time of the day and walk away with your belly full to the brim. Here you get breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Some of the things available at Njuguna’s include parking space, seating space, table service, and lots of booze!

Nyama choma

Njuguna’s Place is one of the eateries in Kenya serving juicy nyama choma. Photo/

Who Owns Njuguna’s Place? 

Njugunas closes down left people asking who is the owner of this iconic eatery. Well, Njuguna’s Place was founded by Joseph Njuguna Macharia in the 1970s. He built a small joint along Salisbury Way (now known as Waiyaki Way) to serve as a canteen for the Westlands community and families of those living in the neighbouring military camp. 

Joseph Njuguna used to do most of the work there by himself because he thought his workers would not do the work perfectly as he did. He roasted and boiled meat, made kachumbari, ugali, and mukimo and even sold bread. Njuguna served from a small building where prominent people met to have discussions. Due to the big names visiting Njuguna’s, it gained popularity among Kenyans. 

More than three decades later, Joseph Njuguna passed away in August 2015. The Nairobi-based restaurant is now operated by his family, who want to upgrade it to match the Westlands environs. Njuguna’s has remained strong over the years, serving Kenyans in the city and those travelling along the busy Waiyaki Way. Despite plush eateries being established nearby, many people still opted to eat at Njuguna’s. 

Prominent People Who Visited Njuguna’s Place

Njugunas closes down could be heartbreaking news to several prominent people in Kenya. Among those said to be frequent clients at the eatery include the late former President Mwai Kibaki, former President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. 

The current President of Kenya, William Samoei Ruto, has also eaten at the eatery alongside other powerful politicians. Veteran journalist Leonard Mambo Mbotela and broadcaster Salim Mohamed also frequented the small joint to meet the Who’s and Who in the KANU administration. You would find KANU hawks like the late Joseph Kamotho talking in low tones at Njuguna’s while enjoying delicious nyama choma. 

Leonard Mambo Mbotela once went straight to Njuguna’s Place with then-President Daniel Moi immediately after arriving from a foreign trip. Leonard was at the time working in the Presidential Press Service Unit.  Njugunas closes down could have gone viral decades ago when the military base next to it wanted to evict Njuguna from the land. But the military didn’t succeed because of a phone call from a top civil servant in the Office of the President. 

Where Is Njuguna’s Located? 

Njuguna’s Place is located along Waiyaki Way opposite Abc place in Westlands. You’ll find a buzz of clients who want to eat nyama choma at the Nairobi-based eatery daily.  If you don’t like the idea of going to Njuguna’s, you can still order their meat online via Glovo.

Njuguna's Place

Njugunas closes down for renovation purposes. Photo/ Tuko News.

About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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