Hatsumi Watanabe-Smith thought that her Japanese tea house, Matcha Time, would be serving up piping hot tea and maybe even a few Japanese delicacies by July or August of 2012.
Then, she thought, as the business grew, maybe she would also add a gift shop.
Instead, she is still working with the Health Department on obtaining a permit to serve food and drink and the tea house is still in the future.
The gift shop, however, has opened. Watanabe-Smith has filled the little shop with toys and accessories, including a line of handmade silk purses—called Kimono—designed especially for Matcha Time.
And she's hoping that after an inspection by the Department of Licenses, she'll be able to sell pre-packaged food and drink items Friday, just in time for Midnight Madness.
Matcha Time, 8381 Merryman St., is on Tongue Row, next to La Palapa. The store will be open from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. every day until Christmas Eve.