It's Almost Tea Time in Ellicott City
Matcha Time Cafe wants to pour its first cup of tea no later than Memorial Day.
Hatsumi Watanabe-Smith has had to be patient.
She expected to open Matcha Time, a Japanese Tea House, in the summer of 2012, but obtaining all of the correct permits took much longer than she expected.
So she opened up a gift shop last year, in time for Midnight Madness and continued working with the county on obtaining permits.
Fast forward to March 2013 and her husband, Derek, is confident he would have a building permit in hand by Friday, March 8.
"The hope," he said from the partially complete room that will soon be a tea house, "Is that we can have a Grand Opening in May. The thought is Memorial Day Weekend or earlier."
The two plan to have a soft opening before then, "We'll just unlock the door," he said, "And let people find their way in."
Hatsumi said the tea house will also offer light fare - pastries, edamame, seasoned rice balls and a limited selection of sushi.
"We'll start out small," she said, "And hopefully get bigger."
Matcha Time, on Tongue Row, next to La Palapa, is currently open and selling Japanese tea accessories, toys, and a few edibles.