The name 355 was conceived in a small town in the city of Essex called Colchester. The founders attended the University of Essex in 2005, and as roomates, Tola Awosika and Prince Aderemi Sijuwade shared an apartment on 355 Keyside Drive. Both founders were quite popular during their University days. Tola was given the nickname Tjones and held many positions in the University including basketball president, contesting for the office of African Union President and he was one of the first black candidates to contest for student union president. Aderemi aka (Prince) represented the African Union being from a royal family and the son of a first class king from Nigeria. The 355 apartment was infamous for hosting the best party’s, open mic events, ladies nights, games night and more. 355 quickly became a landmark for the “cool students” at the university always promising a memorable Friday night topped off with unlimited drinks and food.
After years of student life both Tola and Aderemi moved on to the next stage in life and returned to our home country Nigeria. It was natural to keep living in the memories of our 355-apartment life while in university and thus the 355-hospitality brand was launched in 2013. With a big gap in the Nigerian market to fill, 355 was one of the early players to identify what improvement was needed in the lifestyle and hospitality space.
In December, 2013 with a décor focus of “New York in Lagos”, we brought a fresh and intriguing concept to the Lagos scene. The purpose built restaurant and lounge had elements of New York all over, from the Manhattan bridge skyline image to road signs all across the restaurant. On top of the memorable décor and appeal, the restaurant offered a delectable Mexican cuisine and mouth watering flavored margaritas that became an instant hit. Lagos finally had a place they called home.
Since 2013, 355 has evolved by building on the company strengths, learning from the weaknesses and understanding our customers. Tola and Aderemi have remained focused on building the best hospitality brand from the West African region. Since our initial launch in the high brow Victoria Island district of Lagos, we have expanded into other cities across Nigeria cutting through all the red tape and the general feeling from others, that it couldn’t be done. 355 is now the number one restaurant in the capital of Nigeria, Abuja, and also has branches in Enugu, Calabar. The newest outlet will be situated in the “Wall Street” of Lagos called Marina. This will be the first fine dining restaurant in the corporate capital of Lagos. 355 Marina is located on the 5th and 6th floor of a purpose built building overlooking the lovely view of the Lagos waterways marina.
355 is also expanding outside of Nigeria to Accra, Ghana in 2019 and a few other countries subsequently.
In 2016, the company extended its lifestyle service to private events and catering services. This allowed 355, the ability to offer people to experience the 355 way at weddings, private events and more.
355 hadays seen other gaps in the hospitality sector and has recently moved into the hotel space. In the near future, 355 will open its first Vintage boutique hotel in the city of Lagos. The founders are an ambitious duo. According to Tola, “we are only 10% through our plan for Nigeria and beyond. We no longer anticipate that our future moves will be a surprise, it should be expected.” Aderemi is known for saying “we can only continue to grow, because a lot of hard work and risk has gone into this brand”
Our love for our customers and loyalists can never be overstated. We are humbled by the love and we say a big thank you for making our dream reality. We are committed to continuously bringing you bigger and better in the hospitality space.