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Melrose Place added a touch of pink to its ivy-laden sidewalks on Monday with the opening of Alfred Tea Room.
A sister store to Alfred Coffee — the oldest sibling of the brand is nestled just a few skips around the corner — the new West Hollywood beverage outpost opened as a one-stop shop for all things tea.
“Boba has always been very popular, and we sell a lot of matcha and chai,” founder and designer Joshua Zad told The Hollywood Reporter of why he expanded to a specified tea shop. “Those are already three strong categories in a coffee shop, and you put those together and you do a brand of specific tea and have this nice fine tea as well, it seems like a no-brainer.”
The 450-square-foot pink Tea Room, flanked by Alfred Street on its front entrance and an alleyway on the side, was conceptualized from start to finish by the real estate developer.
“Pink is a very dainty color, and it can be strongly associated with tea and teatime. It’s a very soft color, so the challenge was to see how much pink we could pull off in there. Then the accents came: brass and really complimentary colors,” said the L.A. native, who lives nearby the 705 N. Alfred St. location, of the pink and green hues seen throughout the small space both inside and outside. “The whole point was to turn that daintiness on its head.”
“My passion is creating an environment and ambiance — it’s the important thing to me,” he continued. “Each Alfred Coffee is a new opportunity to see what kind of materials I can start using and give it a different vibe. Some are cold, some are very warm.”
Customers at Alfred Tea Room can choose from 28 different teas on its “Fancy Pink Tea List” in addition to its matcha and boba offerings and on-tap options (iced tea, chai and kombucha).
Since the Alfred brand’s inception in 2013, the founder has opened four coffee locations — Melrose Place, Brentwood, Silver Lake and Melrose Avenue — in addition to the Tea Room, with a Studio City branch set for a July 2016 opening. “I’m creating a much different environment. All dark wood, green,” he said of the Valley shop, which will be doors down from Joan’s on Third. “Kind of like a leafy bar in Havana.”
Zad added that while he would “love to” open another one of his antler-adorned Tea Rooms, he is “going to see how this one plays out.”
“It’s a case-by-case challenge. That’s the beauty of Alfred — the locations do not look the same at all,” Zad said of his brand. “There’s no formula for it. Each one is a new opportunity.”
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