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Two Wichita tea rooms to close

WICHITA — Like a number of restaurants, Wichita's tea rooms are suffering due to the economy. Two are closing. A third was saved thanks to a rent reduction.

Riverside Cup of Tea's last day in business is Saturday, and Aunt Hattie's Tea Room at 1810 W. Douglas will close Dec. 30.

"Wichita's not really supporting their tea rooms," says Onalea Gerner Crile, who has owned Riverside Cup of Tea for four of its 12 years.

"We're the most tucked away of all of the tea rooms," she says of her location at 1617 Briggs, just south of the Castle Inn Riverside.

Almost a year ago, Crile told Have You Heard? she was looking to move. But she decided it was too expensive.

Part of the problem, Crile and others say, is customers look at tea rooms as places only for special occasions.