Ilojo Bar and Restaurant was a Lagos, Nigeria 19th century eatery anchored by he famous Tinubu Square. The building was an architectural masterpiece based on the Brazilian style that followed the arrival of the freed African slaves who had come to make Lagos their home.
Only 6d – Six Pence a plate, that’s what guests at Ilojo Bar & Restaurant would pay at this downtown Lagos restaurant in 19th century Lagos. You could accompany your earthy African meals with Irish stew, salad or sandwiches.
Roast kitchen would cost you 1/3d and a beer would be the same per bottle. Six pence is about £2.48 in today’s money and if you multiply that by 500 Naira, that should give you 1240 Naira. It’s not a lot of money as that is typical of what you would eat in a typical Lagos restaurant today.
However, at One Shilling and 3 pence, a serving of Roast Chickens is a bit pricey coming in at £6.25 in today’s money and multiplied by too naira to a UK pound sterling, is 3125 Naira. Is there anyone that eats a chicken for three grand in Lagos today? Doubtful. And that’s the same for a bottle of beer. Quite clearly this was imported beer from England. For three grand (even as the Naira has tumbled in value lately), today’s Lagosian would have a meal fit for a king with red wine and other ‘supporting’ small ‘chops’. Nevertheless it seems that Ilojo bar & Restaurant was a classy place to be. The magnificence of the edifice says a lot about the vision behind it and it is shame that it has been pulled down so inconsiderately.
Adieu, Ilojo Bar & Restaurant. Let’s wait and see what is going to be said about the possibility that you were pulled down – a listed building – pulled down illegally. Let’s wait.
If you wish to find out more, more information is available via from Wikipedia as shown here.
Ilojo Bar, also called Olaiya House or Casa do Fernandez, is a Brazilian-styled historic building located near Tinubu Square in Lagos Island, Lagos State, Nigeria.It was originally built as a bar and restaurant in 1855 by the Fernandez family who employed returning ex-slaves who had mastered the art of building while in South America. Ilojo Bar was subsequently sold to Alfred Omolana Olaiya of the Olaiya family in 1933 and was declared a national monument in 1956 by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.
The building was pulled down on Sunday, September 11, 2016, in suspicious circumstances during the Eid weekend in Lagos. The matter is still being investigated. The land is now under the control of the Lagos State Government.
A petition http://legacy1995.org.ng/petition-against-the-demolition-of-ilojo-bar/ has been launched to protest the demolition of the iconic building.