The Starbucks at Post Oak and Westheimer will soon have a nearby rival with major international cred. Tom N Toms, a Korea-based coffee shop, will open at 53West, local developer Braun Enterprises’ office complex at 5353 West Alabama St., leasing director Zach Wolf tells CultureMap.
Known for signature items like its sweet potato latte, baked-to-order goods such as pretzels and tortilla pizzas, and smoothies, Tom N Toms has over 400 locations across Asia and the US. Currently, the only Texas location is in the Dallas of suburb of Carrollton, but the first Houston-area location will open in September at the Bellaire Food Street development.
As the owner of Dak & Bop in the Museum District, Tom N Toms franchisee Jason Cho already has experience operating a Korean restaurant in Houston. When the corporate office approached Cho about adding Tom N Toms to his portfolio, his affection for Korean concepts made it a natural fit.
“I like the concept with the snacks and baked goods,” Cho tells CultureMap. “Then them allowing me to mix in my experience, I thought it was a great fit. That’s how I jumped on board.”
In addition to the standard Tom N Toms menu, Cho plans to add a Korean-influenced weekend brunch and bingsu, the Korean shaved ice dessert.
As for the location, Cho says he became intrigued by 53West once he learned that Braun has recruited acclaimed restaurant burger-chan to the development. Adding both establishments is part of Braun’s overall plan to transform the building; other changes include exterior and interior renovations, according to Wolf.
“When you look at [the building], you don’t know what tenants are coming in,” Cho says. “Once Zach conveyed their vision for the shopping center, [I said] I’m on board. Let’s do this.”
Cho has already submitted his plans to the City of Houston. If all goes according to plan, he hopes to be open in November or December.
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