Restaurateurs Noman Aiyash and Leo Gonzalez will open the first of their 12 planned Michigan Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken locations Monday, March 27 at 33351 Plymouth Road in Livonia. The quick service restaurant chain specializing in fresh, never frozen chicken was founded in 1966 by “the Colonel’s” nephew Lee Cummings. Operating as NLM Enterprises LLC, Aiyash and Gonzalez inked the largest development agreement in the brand’s history when they signed on to open a dozen Lee’s over the next seven years in the greater Detroit area. Aiyash has experience in the market through their ownership of several Leo’s Coney Island restaurants.
"We are proud to work with such experienced operators as Noman and Leo who’ve already built a legacy here with their Leo’s Coney Island locations. We’re always looking for new franchisees that we believe are true believers in the brand and will be great operators and community partners, whether that’s through running great restaurants, supporting our philanthropic work with local food banks through GiftAMeal, or getting involved in the community through event catering. We're delighted to extend our Michigan presence with Noman and Leo and look forward to making new famous friends and fans," says Ryan Weaver, CEO of Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken.
“Our experience tells us now is the time for such an established, high-quality brand as Lee’s to be available to a greater portion of the Detroit market,” says Aiyash. “The menu items we’ll offer are perfect for on-the-go meals that have a freshness and home-prepared taste beyond other [quick-service] offerings, and upcoming innovations in the flavor profiles are exciting for fans of the brand’s current favorites.”
“We’ve both been fans of the product and brand for more than a decade, and that’s what interested us as restaurant operators,” says Gonzalez. “Lee’s has a reinvigorated presence around the country with new ownership, investment in the brand, and another year of record sales in 2022. It’s a big win for us to be a partner in growing the Lee’s presence in the Detroit area and for current and future Lee’s fans.”
As the largest restaurant partner of GiftAMeal, Lee’s locally will work to fight hunger through the Forgotten Harvest Food Bank. Famous fans can take photos on the free GiftAMeal app, and a donation will be made to Forgotten Harvest.
The new location has both dine-in, drive through, and mobile ordering options available and will offer a full menu of fresh, never frozen, hand-breaded, honey-dipped chicken along with other classic favorites, famous sides, and house-brewed tea.