Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tea Room Postcard #39 -- Emery, Bird, Thayer Co. Tea Room (Kansas City, Mo.)

When I started researching old department store tea rooms several years ago, my goal was to obtain a vintage postcard and a recipe from each one. Most of the stores seem to have shared at least a recipe or two, but I have yet to find one I can trace with any certainty to Emery, Bird, Thayer Co. in Kansas City, Missouri. Still, I was happy to find this lovely old department store tea room's postcard, which was written on Jan. 24, 1907: "Dear Grace, Your Letter also, the nice photo rec’d. Many thanks and I shall soon answer. Hope you are well and happy. Love to all. Your Aunt Marie." I also liked the information printed below the photo: "Showing a Portion of the Tea Room, the Scene of Many a Wedding Breakfast, Luncheon Party, Afternoon Tea and Reception.---Third Floor."

And here's the back of the card showing it was mailed to Miss Grace Guthrie in Lehigh, Iowa. While the Emery, Bird, Thayer Co. is no more, a piece of it lives on thanks to the EBT Restaurant operating in Kansas City today. According to their website, "EBT Restaurant was opened to honor that department store, which has ties to Kansas City history dating back to the late 1800′s. The stained glass, much of the masonry, wrought iron archways and most notably, the two brass elevator cages were all salvaged when the EBT Department Store was demolished in 1971. As many of our guests are aware, you can reserve a table in one of the two elevator cages, thus feeling somewhat transported to another time and place! Each ‘Elevator’ can accommodate up to 4 guests." Now wouldn't that be fun? You can see a picture of one of these elevator cage dining areas here on this fun-to-read "dining summary" about one woman's experience at EBT Restaurant.


  1. Great postcard! And another spot I want to visit, the elevator cages sound like fun.

  2. LOVE the elevator cage rooms! What a fun idea! I do love old postcards, and your tea rooms are the best!

  3. Hello Angela, what a great postcard!

    Good to know that they kept the elevator cages - nice touch. Having spent some time in Kansas City, I'm sorry that I missed going there.

    I highly recommend Kansas City as a wonderful place to visit:

    'The Plaza' area is fabulous, especially at Christmas time. The buildings are outlined with lights and there are carriage rides and hot chocolate...and such friendly people!

    If I ever get back there for a visit, I will check out the EBT Restaurant.*

    *I had always heard that the Hallmark Card company had a nice tour (I never had a chance to go but I heard it was good).

    Interesting fact about Kansas City: its credited as being one of the first cities to develop 'shopping areas' (the developer - Miller Nichols - had visited Spain and liked all the outdoor fountains so much that he brought Spanish-styled fountains to 'The Plaza' area - and they are beautiful!)

    I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Nichols at the state capitol one day and he was a remarkable man.

    Your postcard today has made me homesick for Missouri, a great state to live in or visit, from the sophistication of Kansas City (The Plaza, the art galleries, the jazz concerts), the city life of St. Louis (sporting events, the Arch, riverboats, old-style Italian restaurants), historic Hermann, Mo (German settlement, wineries, Octoberfests, Maifests), music at the Lake of Ozarks and who could leave off Columbia, Mo (a great college town!)

    Thanks for your great blog, Angela, I so enjoy reading it. Hope you have a nice weekend, Joanie

  4. What a great find! Now I thought I knew all the department stores, but this is one I have not heard of. Thanks for the fun information and yes, I would love having tea in the elevator cage.

  5. Another great department store postcard. Diligence pays off!


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