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Tea House Add Patio, Increases Seating by 60%

The Wenham Tea House now has an outdoor patio, part of the changes that the restaurant has been undergoing since being taken over by Henry's Fine Foods in March.

The dining room at now extends outdoors – onto a new patio.

The patio, built of bluestone, opened a week ago Thursday but did not get much use for the first few days because of the hot and humid weather. But when things cooled down and dried out late last week, the 35 seats on the patio started to fill up.

General Manage Julie Perkins said the patio was filled with diners last Saturday morning, for example.

The patio was one of the changes that were unveiled when – which is owned by the Wenham Village Improvement Society – earlier this year.

The patio, which extends from the dining room toward Main Street, is being called the Pulsifer Patio, honoring Dorothy Pulsifer, who made a significant donation to the WVIS to help pay for the patio. Henry’s owner John Keohane said he also made a donation to the WVIS toward the patio cost. It was installed by Corliss Landscaping and took about three weeks to construct.

Keohane said Henry’s also purchased the tables, chairs and plants – which are also for sale – that are on the patio. Boxwoods surround the patio.

There’s no set dates that the patio will be open and closed. It will be open as long as people want to sit out on it, and may be driven by the temperatures and bugs, said Chris Keohane, the Tea House's operations manager..

“We’re trying to create tea is a garden setting in downtown Wenham, as much as we can,” Keohane said.

Henry's owner John Keohane said the patio has gone in an area that had been grass previously.

“We knew we would be creating demand,” Keohane said about Henry’s takeover of Tea House management. The patio is designed to meet the increased demand and seat more diners. The dining rooms seats 55 people and the patio adds 35 more seats.

The patio also comes with the rollout of a new summer menu, which includes more fish, fruit and fresh produce from Utopia Farms in Essex. The menu includes “lighter dishes” that reflect the “flavors of the season” and includes dishes such as watermelon gazpacho and watermelon slush, John Keohane said.

John Keohane said he has also been working with WVIS leadership to make other improvements outside the Tea House, include trimming some of the hedges and other aesthetic improvements.

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