I am a tea house.
My unfortunate location off the Main Street by just a block means my future is probably short. Before I was a tea house I was just an old house off main. Many of the houses here were originally single family two story homes. On the other side of the street there are carriage houses facing into the alleys mostly used as tumbled down storage sheds or garages.
I was a white wood sided narrow house with tall front windows, not bay windows but the narrow ones that go up tall. Have a look. The view out to the street and the across the street houses was never meant to be to focal point. I have my windows to add charm to the place and let in lots of light. Never mind I am facing north.
Upstairs I have a few rooms, a bathroom. The current owners rent that out to a young couple who are roommates. They split the rent and pretty much stay quiet, they have to study.
This is a cold climate but in the summer time it does get hot up there. They use the back fire escape steps to enter and leave.
Downstairs, Monday through Saturday the tea house is open downstairs.
There are more teas than any one person can consume in a lifetime. There are many different ways to prepare it and serve it. There are very tradition ridden tea ceremonies and the owners will close down and cater a private party if someone is interested in a good royal tea party.
Speaking of tea parties, the imaginary ritual preformed by little girls of every generation, the owners set a little table of little chairs and tiny cups just so the little girls can come and have a real tea party.
There are tea services for sell here, very expensive tea pots, cheaper ones too but still a pretty penny. And china sets. Tea cups sit as models behind the glass in the china cabinets. The owners placed three of the china cabinets around the tea room with wares displayed.
They make as much money from the tea trinkets, pots, cozies, cups, spoons, platters, and imported teas and blends as they do from day to day customers. Now that I stopped to think about it, they make more from selling the teas and pots than they ever have from the walk in and sit down customer.
I’ve been painted yellow outside. My windows are always clean and face north, they never glare. The house across the street will sometimes catch the winter sun for just a few moments and shoot a blinding ray through the front windows.
I am off Main Street but not quite off the beaten path.
While my owner does show a small profit every year it doesn’t matter to them much at all. I am some kind of tax shelter. I was also bought in 1996 and opened that Spring so the housing market had not taken such an upward turn. Now it has gone back down again and the owner never once kicked herself for not selling during the high point.
I am a tea house that grew out of a hobby and I feel good that the woman who opened me still enjoys having a nice traditionally made cup of tea.
During slow days, she comes out and sips with her regulars and even picks up the tab. Gives them Tea on the House. Yes, I am quite satisfied with my current incarnation.