Beloved Tin Drum Asia Kitchen in Atlanta to Open in Houston

Atlanta-based Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, a Pan Asian restaurant that transports its guests to a street side café in Asia, complete with hawker style cuisine and atmosphere, will open the first of five restaurants in Houston this year. Tin Drum has tapped experienced Houston restaurateurs Shairoz Lakhani, Avez Maredia and Faizan Momin to own and operate the five units in the Houston area. They are currently identifying potential locations and plan to open by the end of the year.

Tin Drum Asian Kitchen provides a break to the everyday to everyone. It is a place to EXPLORE LESS ORDINARY through continental Asian products, urban curbside environment, and the life story of the Tin Drummer. Tin Drum’s menu is a delirious mash up of bold flavored Asian’s greatest hits and “Not In A Bowl” sidewalk sandwiches and urban garden items inspired by many Asian cultures. Some menu favorites include the Tikka Masala, Singapore Curry Noodles, Thai Curry with Coconut Milk, Korean Fried Chicken Sliders, Saigon Summer Salad, and the addictive Crab and Cheese Spring Rolls. Each meal is prepared on-order using fresh, simple and specialty Asian ingredients, served by Tin Drummer in an environment that evokes the hustle and bustle of a classic Hong Kong-style dai pai dong, or curbside café.

Spouses Lakhani and Maredia currently own and operate three Wingstop restaurants in Texas with two more under construction. After turning around a Wingstop in Wichita Falls, Texas, the couple were approached by the brand to grow their Wing Stop franchise to three units. Now, along with Momin, they are expanding their business to add a fast-casual restaurant, Tin Drum, which innovates the Asian food experience through less ordinary products and urban culture.

“Houston is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country with diners who crave international flavors,” said Steven Chan, Tin Drum founder and CEO. “Shairoz, Avez and Faizan are the perfect owners to help us grow our brand. They are quality young entrepreneurs who have been diehard fans of Tin Drum since the beginning. Their combination of operational experience and ability to understand our customer make them the perfect team for our Houston debut.”

Lakhani comes from a restaurant family who grew up learning and appreciating the restaurant business. Throughout her childhood, her father Aziz Lakhani, owned more than 30 restaurants during his career, including major brands like Dunkin’, Popeyes, Ginger’s casual dining and more.

Lakhani, Maredia and Momin discovered Tin Drum while they were students in Atlanta at Emory University and Georgia State University respectively, where the restaurant made its debut in Atlanta more than 15 years ago.

“During our college days in Atlanta, we fell in love with Tin Drum and have wanted to open a location in Houston since we got into the restaurant business after graduating,” said Lakhani. “There are not many Asian fusion restaurants in Houston, and we think Tin Drum will fill that void.”

In addition to growth throughout Georgia, Tin Drum is actively looking for owners in other cities in Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Tin Drum will open its first of three locations in the Savannah area in 2019.

The restaurant’s franchise growth is backed by the private equity firm BIP Capital, majority owner of Tropical Smoothie, who has invested more than $250 million in emerging, high-growth brands across the franchising, software, technology and consumer products industries. BIP Capital leverages its leadership team’s deep franchise experience to help emerging brands accelerate growth.

According to Steven Chan, CEO and founder of Tin Drum, the ownership team BIP, Altaf Popatiya, Amisha Popatiya, Matt Schinelli, and himself are excited to support the new franchisees in the upcoming endeavor. Matt Schinelli also serves as Director of Business Development and is an original Tin Drum franchisee.

The Tin Drummer Story
In ancient Asian culture, there was the “Tin Drummer”, a part newscaster and part wake-up caller. Each morning, he walked the streets banging a tin drum, gathering people at the lively café to fuel their bodies with food and their minds with current news. He became a legend, an unsung hero who connected people by the simple and unrelenting act of doing.

Today, Tin Drum celebrates the legend of the Tin Drummer, who showed how hard work alone can make a difference. We all are equal and possess the magic potential ready to unleash – “The Same Sun Shines Equally On Those Beneath.” Tin Drum provides a break to the everyday to everyone. It is a place to EXPLORE LESS ORDINARY through continental Asian products, urban curbside environment, and the life story of the Tin Drummer.

Steven Chan, CEO and founder of Tin Drum reckons that when it comes to deciding where to eat out most of the usual choices, well, are just ordinary. “Tin Drum lets you explore its choice of Asia’s greatest dishes in an urban curbside environment that allows you to BE LESS ORDINARY,” said Chan, who is one of the Atlanta’s top restaurateurs who recently opened Vogue Magazine’s 2019 most anticipated all day brunch eatery Pancake Social in Ponce City Market.

About Tin Drum Asian Kitchen
With 11 locations throughout metro Atlanta, Tin Drum Asian Kitchen Tin Drum innovates the Asian food experience through “Less Ordinary” products and urban culture focuses on made-on-order, affordable and all-encompassing Asian food. Inspired by music and life around Asian curbside cafés, the menu packs bold flavors into dishes prepared in an open kitchen. The space invites all budgets, taste buds and styles, introducing guests to thoughtful, modern design and surprising, witty details. For more information about franchising Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, visit or