While he had hoped to open his suburban tea house in the spring and then again in early summer, even Billy Corgan couldn't avoid construction issues. But now that it's moving into fall, the Smashing Pumpkins' rocker is finally ready to open the doors to Madame ZuZu's next Thursday, Sept. 13.
Corgan told Eater that he's "relieved" the 1930s-style 30-seat Chinese tea house, set inside the former U.S. Post Office station in the Ravinia neighborhood, is finally opening. Back in December, Corgan told Eater that he wanted to create a cool space for 30- and 40-somethings to gather and exchange ideas. But now, he said, they're getting incredible response from the neighborhood. "It's so much better than I could have hoped for," Corgan said. "It's people of all ages, even seven year olds are telling me they want to come to the tea shop."
The space was completely renovated and now features a long dark wood bar, black-and-white flooring, metal plating on the ceiling, red walls, deco lighting and a piano. He previously mentioned they'll open up the space for people to display art, host talks, do live performances and more, but they're focusing on getting the tea side of the business up and running first.
"We didn't want to try and do too much too fast," he said. "We want to focus on the quality of the experience instead of having a three-ring circus all at once. Once we open [things] up, we won't have any shortage of people who will want to play or show their art."
On the menu, Madame ZuZu's will have a rotating roster of about 12 different types of loose leaf tea from all over the world, including Morocco, Japan, China and India. They'll likely always have three types each of green, white and black and some other flavors, according to Sharon Mackin-Norberg, Corgan's partner in the tea shop who also owns Ravinia Wine Shop across the street.
Mackin-Norberg added they'll have pour-over coffee from Intelligentsia and a rotating selection of vegan desserts, like pies, tortes and cookies, from Highwood's Bent Fork Bakery. They won't serve alcohol (you'll have to pop across the street for wine), but they will have Wi-Fi. Madame Zuzu's will be open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. They're still setting Sunday's hours, but likely from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
As a special opening day treat next Thursday, Corgan will do some acoustic sets. The performances will be very casual and he isn't scheduling any set times—so if you're a diehard Corgan or Pumpkins fan, you may have to camp out and drink a lot of tea. Isn't that what the space is for anyway?
· Billy Corgan Opening 1930s Chinese-style Tea House this Spring in Highland Park [~EChi~]