FOLEY - Imagine walking down the sidewalk at Heritage Park in Foley. You turn onto Chicago Street and notice across the road sits an enchanting tea house. Magnificent live oaks shade the outside …
FOLEY - Imagine walking down the sidewalk at Heritage Park in Foley. You turn onto Chicago Street and notice across the road sits an enchanting tea house. Magnificent live oaks shade the outside seating area. A short, winding path leads to the steps of the front door. As you enter, you’re greeted with sounds of music, conversation, and laughter. Smells of homecooked meals, desserts, and freshly brewed tea surround you.
You’ve walked through the door to the Copper Kettle Tea Bar, co-owned by sisters Robin Peters and Sue Adams and this year the tiny, lively restaurant is number 66 on Yelp’s list of Top 100 Places to Eat in 2021.
In December 2020, Yelpers were asked to suggest their favorite restaurants, lunchtime go-tos and special occasion spots. Thousands of places were submitted. Submissions were then reviewed and ranked by ratings, number of reviews and volume of submissions. The list covers eateries across America, with Copper Kettle being the only restaurant in Alabama to appear in the top 100.
“Making the list was so surprising,” said Adams. “Someone out there must have heard about us. I wish we knew who all had suggested us, we have no idea.”
The Copper Kettle Tea Bar offers a unique experience. Once you enter, you realize you’re in a place like no other. The menu changes daily, sometimes decided upon early in the morning each day. There’s over 100 choices of tea available, all freshly brewed upon ordering. You can even purchase some tea leaves to take home to brew later.
The store also features a wide array of arts and crafts made by local artists.
“When you’re talking about growth down here, we hit a milestone back in 2019,” said Peters. “We were so busy between the snowbirds and our locals that you had to wait to get into the door during the lunch rush, all our tables were full. We had finally hit that mark. Then last year, COVID happened, and we just lost that momentum that we’d spent five to six years building,” Adams said.
“Then we learned we made this list, and suddenly we’ve been getting lots of newbies along with our regulars, we’ve seen more people coming from Pensacola or all the way from Mobile. And the good thing is when they come visit us from that distance, they’re not just coming here to get tea. They’re going to visit other downtown locations, go shopping, stick around for dinner.”
Peters said, “This gave us hope that what we’re doing is needed by the community. You don’t make it if the community doesn’t need, want, and look for what you do. This let us know that people really do want what we can offer to the community, no matter what it is they’re looking for. Be it somewhere to go and get out, somewhere to go for a good conversation, a good cup of tea, homemade food, friendship. We can give people something that otherwise would be missing from their lives.”
For those seeking adventure, the Copper Kettle hosts annual event teas. These teas are known for their live music, laughter, opportunity to dress in costume, games, campfire talks, and, of course, food and tea. Event teas include the Hobbit Tea, the Under the Sea Tea, the Harry Potter Tea, Midsummers’ Night Dream Tea, Christmas Carol Tea, plus many more created throughout the year. But you don’t have to wait for an event tea to find something fun to do. There’s always something going on at the Copper Kettle, from open mic nights, bonfire storytellings, game nights, High Teas, and more.
“We need to be here, doing what we love to do, because we’re not the only ones who love it. Others love what we do here,” said Peters. “There’s so many places around here that offer good food prepared by great chefs, where you can go and have a nice meal. But where else can you go to get an experience like the one you can get here? I think that’s what keeps bringing people back.”
For more information and to keep updated on daily menus, weekend activities, and future events, follow the Copper Kettle on Facebook, @CopperKettle.TeaBar, visit the website www.thecopperkettleteabar.com, give them a call at 251-609-2832, or stop by at 106 North Chicago Street, Foley.