UPDATED on Oct. 26:
From decaturmetro.com on Oct. 17:
Michael points out this Atlanta Mag food critic Bill Addison tweet…
Heard that @chaipani, which rocks Mumbai-style street food & thalis in Asheville, just signed a lease on Watershed’s old Decatur space. #yes
Our original post, where we broke the news on Oct. 1:
Congrats to Chai Pani owner Meherwan Irani, whose tasty street food concept is branching out after only three years in business.
Over drinks, desserts and Indian munchies today at a press preview of Chai Pani’s new lounge offshoot, MG Road, Irani revealed that he’s taking his street-food concept outside Asheville’s borders, allowing a set of Atlanta hopefuls to open a second Chai Pani.
Irani is adamant that he’s not franchising, but found “the right person, the right place” and the right team to reproduce his Asheville restaurant faithfully in the ATL.
“You should be able to eat there, and think you’re here,” he said. Any future locations would need to have all the central qualities of the original Asheville restaurant, he said, which he named as authentic ingredients, high quality, and respect for food traditions.
“The concept won’t change at all,” he said. Chai Pani marketer Katherine Branch said the Indian street food restaurant receives several inquiries every month about possibilities around opening more Chai Pani restaurants. Only the Atlanta opportunity struck Irani as right for him.
“But we will always be rooted here,” he said, pointing to the floor of his restaurant. “This is the mothership.”
Chai Pani lounge offshoot MG Road will have a soft opening Wednesday, and be officially open Thursday.