Archive for Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Customers bid tea room fond farewell at sale

June 21, 2011

— Sisters Dorothy Berry, Basehor, and Barbara Young, Kansas City, Kan., were out to spruce up Berry’s kitchen on Tuesday.

As they browsed the teapots and other items on sale at Madame Hatter’s Tea Room, 228 Oak St., Bonner Springs, Berry cautioned her sister not to go overboard.

“I’ve got to get control of myself here, because otherwise I’ll say ‘Put it all in the car,’” Berry said.

The sisters were among several long-time customers of the restaurant, which announced last month that it would be closing, browsing items at the first day of its sale, hoping to take a little bit of the business home with them.

Berry said Madame Hatter’s will always have a special place in her heart. Not only did her Red Hat group and church lunch group frequent the restaurant, but it also was the last place Berry went to lunch with a friend who died of cancer just two weeks ago.

“She wrote me a not and told me what a nice place it was to sit down and have lunch,” Berry said. “I wrote Bonnie (Freeland, owner) a note to share that with her.”

Freeland announced that the last day for the general public would be June 15, and that many of the items in the restaurant would be on sale beginning Tuesday, June 21.

The business moved in 2009 from Eudora to downtown Bonner Springs. Freeland, who lives in western Shawnee, would not discuss the reason for the closure at the time, simply saying, “It’s just something that was kind of in the works for a while.”

On Tuesday, she remained tight-lipped but hinted to customers that she might have other business plans in the future, saying “I’ve got some things up my sleeve.” Customers were told to watch the Madame Hatter’s Facebook page for future announcements.

Opal Trefethen and Sue Lynch of Eudora were present Tuesday to take a little bit of the restaurant home with them, expressing their sadness at its closure, having remained loyal even after it moved from Eudora to Bonner.

“We went there, and then we came here, and now we’re sad!” Lynch said.

Jaime Potts of Piper agreed it was a sad day, but she said the teapots and cups available at the sale would be a big help.

“I do tea parties at my church, so I need some stuff to help with that,” she said.

The restaurant will continue to sell its tea pots, tea cups, décor, tablecloths, dress-up tea hats and other items from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily potentially through Saturday, June 25, as long as items last. Kitchen items available for sale are listed at, Freeland said.

The restaurant also will offer chicken sandwiches and scones for sale as supplies last.

City officials have previously reported that the neighboring Freseros Mexican Restaurant was interested in moving into the tea room’s space.


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