Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tea Room Postcard #1 - The Colonial Tea Room (Niagara Falls, N.Y.)

As I was cooking out of my tea room cookbooks in 2013, I often found myself wondering what the tea rooms of yesteryear looked like. I began to search for old tea room postcards online, and I decided this bit of history would give a focus to my tea research and collecting for 2014! I view these old tea rooms as the "ancestors" of the tea rooms of today, and I thought it would be fun to see what, if anything, I could find out about some of them. First up: The Colonial Tea Room at 39 Falls St. in Niagara Falls, N.Y. First off, is that really pink vinyl seating I'm seeing? I believe so. And mercy, have you ever seen so many flowers outside a hospital room or a funeral parlor? It's also interesting to observe what appear to be booths at left and right. Wooden, dark upholstery ... not exactly what I would have chosen to go with the bubblegum pink seating, but it obviously worked for them. I also love that this postcard says "AIR CONDITIONED" up top.

Here's the back of the postcard, where I learned this was not only a tea room but also a "Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge." Now that's a multi-purpose building indeed! Since the postcard was postally unused, as collectors say, I had no clue about the date of this tea room, only a general impression of forties or fifties era decor. An online search for the street address did turn up an October 1933 newspaper, The Niagara Falls Gazette, which listed The Colonial Tea Room as one of the local businesses participating in Greater Niagara's New Deal days. So the tea room was in business at least by 1933, and it was great fun to learn a little about such a colorful place!

13 comments:

  1. Fun new series, Angela! I look forward to learning about the early tea rooms of America and beyond???

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  2. What fun! I love old postcards .. especially the linen/watercolor look. This is going to be a fun adventure!

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  3. A lovely idea for You and I will so enjoy reading each post.

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  4. I tried to guess what your Saturday posts would feature this year, but I did not come up with postcards. What fun! I love the pink vinyl and all the flowers on this one. And the air conditioning! A lovely glimpse into the past, and I look forward to seeing more throughout the year.

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  5. Another fun Saturday theme! These will be a lot of fun, I know! I love the idea that A/C was worth mentioning on the *front* of the postcard!! :)

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  6. Tea rooms of yesteryear were not what we tea ladies visualize today. A few years ago, a friend took me to a "tea room" in Dallas. She described it as "a place where all the old ladies go for lunch". We laughed over that one, because at the time, I was caregiver for 4 "old ladies" in my family. She was trying to provide me some respite, and realized she took me to the old ladies lunch place. I'll anxiously wait to see if you have a post card of that one.

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  7. I read your blog every day Angela. But your Saturday series are my favorite entries. Love this one!

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  8. What fun I would have had if I had been able to go to this tea room. The colors and flowers are so much fun and I also love the seat in the front of the card. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Looks like another fun series!

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  10. Oh I love vintage postcards; so I will thoroughly enjoy this new series. I have never ordered tea related cards, but do watch for them when I visit an antique shop. What a lucky find. Love, love the pink vinyl and flowers.

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  11. Great series Angela - so enjoy your blog. Happy New Year, Joanie

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  12. Oooh, a new series! I love postcards.

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  13. What a fun weekend series. I'm looking forward to what you share.

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