Chimera Teas will open in former home of Kitchen House Coffee in Tower Grove East this fall

Popular Tower Grove Farmers’ Market tea vendor Chimera Teas will soon move into a shop at 3149 Shenandoah Ave., in the former Kitchen House Coffee space. The move is in motion and the location is tentatively set to open next month, but it’s about much more than a business expanding. According to Chimera Teas’ owner Brianna Velarde, the move is also a long-held dream coming to life.

“I always wanted to start a tea shop. It was always a dream of mine,” said Velarde.

Velarde decided to take steps in the direction of that dream when she became a Tower Grove Farmers’ Market vendor. Although Chimera Teas was a new vendor at the market this season, the tea booth quickly gained community support. 

“Since day one, it’s been popular,” Velarde said of the business. “We’ve gotten to know some of our regular customers each week at the farmers market and even sell out some days.”

Now Velarde’s dream continues to expand, and while there’s still one more permit to be issued, Velarde said the goal is to be open for patio seating and takeout service by mid-September and be fully operational some time in October. 

When it opens, the interior of the shop will focus on creating what Velarde calls “an ethereal, nature, fae vibe” through incorporating lots of plants and blending light and dark wood accents, by using walnut and maple wood throughout. 

While the brick-and-mortar space will be a new experience for guests, the tea menu at the location will feature the drinks many have come to know from the market, like bubble teas in a variety of flavors, including dragon fruit, strawberry and mango. There will also be chai, matcha and golden milk lattes, available hot or iced, made with housemade plant-based milks. In addition to the ready-made drinks, Chimera Teas will continue to carry tins of loose teas, many of which are single origin.

Customers at the brick-and-mortar will also see some new coffee beverages added to the menu. The shop will brew Blueprint Coffee and serve espresso-based drinks like cortados, lattes and cappuccinos, available hot or iced, as well as offer pour-overs.

Also new to the brick-and-mortar will be the addition of a food menu, in the form of small bites. It will serve assorted vegan pastries, as well as sweet and savory steamed buns inspired by a variety of international flavors such as Asian, South American, Mexican and Indian. There will also be a hummus plate and Korean-style pickled vegetables, along with rotating small plate offerings. 

For more information and to stay up to date on opening developments, follow Chimera Teas on Instagram.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 2:40 p.m. Aug. 21 to include more specific details on the food program.