Friday, September 13, 2019

[UPDATE] Local Tin Drum Asian Kitchen Closes "Temporarily"

Tin Drum Asian Kitchen in Johns Creek has "temporarily closed."   The restaurant, located in Johns Creek Festival at 11160 Medlock Bridge Road, opened August 10, 2017, and within the past few days posted signage indicating that it is closed "temporarily." Despite indication of the closure being only temporary, the Johns Creeks location has been removed from the Tin Drum corporate website and its space is currently being marketed by Riverwood Properties, who owns Johns Creek Festival. (Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a corporate sibling of Tin Drum, also has a location in the same plaza and remains open.)

The Johns Creek Tin Drum was the first U.S. business endeavor for franchisee and Venezuelan businessman Alonso Nava.  "I decided to become a Tin Drum franchisee because I love the franchise concept and superior cuisine," said Nava at the time of the opening. "I am excited about my first U.S. business venture and believe the Johns Creek market is a great place to grow" added Nava about the growth potential. 

Tin Drum Asiacaf√©, the restaurant's original name, opened its first location near Georgia Tech in 2003.  Founded by entrepreneur Steven Chan, the restaurant proved popular and Chan expanded the concept to a few additional locations. A well situated, corner location in Sembler's Perimeter Place opened in 2006, followed by another at Sembler's redeveloped Lindbergh Plaza, also in 2006.  During the summer of 2008, the [now closed] downtown location near Georgia State opened. 

Chan began franchising Tin Drum in 2011.  In September 2012, Atlanta-based BIP Opportunities Fund, LP took a minority stake in Tin Drum to "provide the necessary capital to fuel the emerging brand’s expansion strategy."  After the investment, Chan said he planned to "double the company’s corporate and franchise unit base (then 10 units) by the end of 2012." 

Today, after a series of openings, [Newnan, Druid Hills, North Decatur, Akers Mill & Sandy Springs, among others] and closures, [Kennesaw, Buckhead, Emory Village, Atlantic Station & Augusta, among others] the chain count is at the same ten units.

After several years away from the business he founded, Chan returned to Tin Drum in mid-2018, resuming his original role as CEO. 

In late August, Tin Drum announced plans to again grow outside of Georgia with a five unit development deal in Houston, Texas.  The first of the five Houston area restaurants being opening by former Georgia State and Emory students who became familiar with Tin Drum when in school locally, could open before the end of 2019. 

The chain once had locations in both Oldsmar, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama, but those locations closed several years ago.  Additionally, the company signed a development  deal with CANUSA ENTERPRISES in 2013 to open a total of seven Tin Drums in Nashville, but none ever opened.  

Tin Drum plans to open as many as three locations in the Pooler/Savannah area, the first of which, in Pooler, is expected to open before the end of the year.  

When contacted for comment Friday, Chan, a resident of Johns Creek, said the Johns Creek Tin Drum location was not permanently closed and that he is considering reopening it. 

Did you ever eat at the Johns Creek Tin Drum Asian Kitchen?  What is your opinion of the Tin Drum Asian Kitchen brand?  Do you like the current menu at Tin Drum Asian Kitchen?

Please share your thoughts below.  

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