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Missouri Tea Rooms

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Missouri State Tea Room Gallery, in alphabetical order by name of city or town.

Kansas City

The Tea Foyer at the Hotel Muehlebach in Kansas City, Missouri, postcard front, circa 1910.

Saint Louis

Hotel Jefferson Tea Room Saint Louis, Missouri, postcard front. The uniformed staff standing at attention behind the Chinese bamboo tables and chairs under a canopy of silk flowers in the form of dozens of blooming Chinese wistaria vines makes an unforgettable sight. The restaurant ware place settings are in the Red Willow pattern, which is derivative of traditional Chinese porcelain, but made on a sturdier semi-vitreous clay body for heavy-duty commercial use. There was a relatively large Chinese population in Saint Louis at the time, the decor in this tea room is Chinese, and although the waiters are in the distance, all three are men with black hair, leading me to think they are Chinese-Americans. What we seem to have then is a "theme" restaurant ... but the food would have been light American style luncheon fare -- open-face sandwiches, chicken, fish, fancy salads, pastries, and the like. Since this tea room was located in an upscale hotel, it would have been a place to entertain local friends if one had come to the city to visit but was not staying in someone's home.
Hotel Jefferson Tea Room Saint Louis, Missouri, postcard back, divided back era. circa 1910, postally used in 1914.

catherine yronwode
curator, historian, and docent
The Mystic Tea Room

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