After mulling over new or additional locations during the past year, The London Tea Room manager Jackie James says the business will move from its original Downtown spot to more spacious digs in the former Hyde Park Beer building at the corner of Morganford and Hartford in the Tower Grove South neighborhood.
“We expect to have our last day at the current location on Sun., Jan. 19, and then have our soft opening on Sat., Feb. 1, in our new location,” says James. “We will have a grand-opening celebration in March, which will give us a month to get all the kinks worked out.”
The London Tea Room has been operating out of its current location for six years. In that time, James says a number of other businesses have left the vicinity one by one, further thinning out area foot traffic and the potential customer base. In the past year, James eyed alternate locations, including the Mercantile Exchange Building Downtown and other spaces in the county, but none panned out.
The building at 3128 Morganford Road nearly doubles the business’ space to approximately 3,200 square feet from 1,800 square feet, and aside from minor electrical, plumbing and cosmetic changes, the building is ready for move-in. The move will bring with it a few changes to how The London Tea Room operates, as well. The additional space will allow James to expand the menu of teas, tea merchandise and gifts in the 1,800-square-foot cafe and run events in an adjacent back room. The lunch menu will no longer be offered, but customers can continue enjoying house-made quiches, pastries, coffee and espresso drinks.
“Some time ago, we realized that the restaurant took away much of the time we really needed to spend on focusing on tea,” James says. “It became almost impossible to find the time to talk about tea, conduct tea education classes and find any space in the place for retail tea and accessories.” Cream teas and afternoon tea events will continue to be a big part of The London Tea Room experience, aided by about 1,400 square feet of event space decorated in old English manor-style with room for 12 to 40 guests interested in high tea, tea education classes, movie nights and other events she plans to add to the Tea Room’s event offerings.
“We are applying for a liquor license so we can offer the option of adding champagne to any of these afternoon tea events. We also hope to eventually open up two or three evenings a week and serve high-end, tea-infused cocktails and desserts. I'm hoping we can offer this sometime in the summer,” says James.
The new London Tea Room hours will be 9am-5pm daily in the cafe, with event space open as needed.
The London Tea Room, 314.241.6556, thelondontearoom.com