Tin Roof Humble Beginnings
Ever since Sheldon Simeon, alumnus of Top Chef (tv show), shot to stardom over his third place finish, he has grown an admirable following across the country, but even more so at home – on the island of Maui.
It has been a long time in the making, but now, Chef Sheldon and his family have a restaurant to call their own, Tin Roof, in Kahului. Along with his wife, Janice, they have been thinking about this day for a long time. Chef Sheldon recalls, “I always talked about owning a small lunch spot, it was like a dream.”
It’s great to see a local boy doing big things for his island and tipping his hat to a Hawaii tradition, while being at the forefront of a potentially new culinary movement. “Tin Roof is a representative of my upbringing in Hilo, the sound of it, the food, keeping it mom and pop but new age mom and pop,” said Chef Sheldon.
The restaurant’s name of Tin Roof was inspired by Chef Sheldon’s time as a kid growing up in Hilo on the Big Island and serves as reminder to what he and his wife are working towards. The time in Hilo was important in cultivating Chef Sheldon’s young mind, and the name Tin Roof reminds him of his formative years, where every home in Hilo is shielded by a tin roof.
The restaurant name also has a metaphorical meaning to Janice and Chef Sheldon, they illustrated the fact ghettos and project homes across the world the have tin roofs, or are the origins of humble beginnings. Personally for the Simeons, that is exactly what Tin Roof is for them, “It’s where people live and grow up, and when possible, build up and move on to something even greater,” Janice said.
“This place is our very first business that we own. We basically gutted it out and started from nothing, and was able to fund and build it out on our own, with our own funds that we were able to save up and put aside. It’s our beginning, our project,” Janice continued.
The idea of a restaurant was given serious thought when, local and iconic Koko Ichiban Ya was about to close their doors. Friends of the family suggested Chef Sheldon to the landlord as a prospective tenant to take over the unit. The plate lunch spot was known for 25 years as one of the best places on the island for tempura, chicken katsu and donburi; so it was only natural another plate lunch place occupy the space. Together on July 1, 2015, he and his wife took on the challenge of signing on and creating their own eatery.
If you are aware of the the old Ko Ko Ichibanya location, just head there. The restaurants official address lists them on Papa Street, but actually it’s on the Dairy Road side of the complex with. You probably won’t be able to see it from the street, since there’s no sign designating the unit, but you’ll find it sandwiched in between U’i Gallery and Payday Loans.
Immediately from day one, their intent was clear. Chef Sheldon brings an intense attention detail, prioritizes using locally sourced ingredients, modernizes local favorites, emphasizes quality, and delivers it all at an easy on the wallet price point.
Their ours will start off during the daytime from 10:00AM-2:00PM. Their intended goal is to open at 6:00AM because of the demand for a place where you can pick up breakfast or lunch in the Kahului area and go to work. Once attainable, the plan is to stay open during the day or until they sell out. Eventually special chef’s table dinners will be scheduled for once of twice a month, so be on the look and enjoy for now!
Contact a South Maui Real Estate Specialist
We’d like to extend an invitation to you to stop by our on-site Ho’olei real estate information office, which is open daily, before the reservation desk, from 9:00AM–5:00PM.
Our team has been blessed with the opportunity to have been part of this luxurious community since its infancy stages back in 2005. We’ve been in the in house sales team for the past 9 years. It truly brings a smile to my face when I see first time guests, return visitors, and full-time residences who embrace and wholeheartedly love their Maui lifestyle.