By Vanessa Miali | CNA Media Team
A worldly tea connoisseur is not someone you’d think of driving a TriMet bus, MAX train or Portland Streetcar, but Brendon Constans, has done it all.
“I’m a transit nerd who realized that I like riding, but not driving.”
After seven years of driving, he knows all Portland-area neighborhoods and chose Concordia to open his own Lovejoy’s Tea Room at 3286 N.E. Killingsworth St. It’s an offshoot of the original Lovejoy’s in San Francisco.
Stepping back in time with the charming decor, enjoying delicate tea sandwiches on unique mismatched china while relaxing with a steaming pot of tea is what Lovejoy’s is all about.
The mood is calm and the atmosphere inviting with its gallery of quirky keepsakes and vintage cabinets full of lacy table linens.
Brendon said he has always adored tea and spent his 18th birthday traveling in England and Ireland. He stayed at bed-and-breakfast establishments and dined in tea rooms.
“It’s all about the experience of sitting and enjoying the tea. The formal presentation attracts you and then you get distracted with the food.”
Lovejoy’s tea list is deep with more than 40 varieties from around the world and a featured tea of the day. The majority of the black teas come from England’s Taylors of Harrogate and some from Portland’s The Jasmine Pearl Tea Company.
The menu offers several options that include a bottomless pot of tea and ala carte. Tempting the diner are more than a dozen house-made tea sandwiches, ranging from pear and Stilton to walnut chicken salad, plus the traditional fare of vegan shepherd’s pie, sausage rolls, salads and quiche.
Brendon is already giving back to the community. During Lovejoy’s March grand opening, he treated the full Queen’s Tea experience to 15 residents of Kenton Women’s Village, a transitional housing project.
The Queen’s Tea is the premier offering at Lovejoy’s and comes with your choice of two tea sandwiches two salads a warm freshly-baked scone with preserves and Devon cream, a crumpet with Meyer lemon curd, fresh fruit, a petit four, and a shortbread tea biscuit.
Exceeding profit estimates for the first month is only the beginning of the tea room’s good fortune. Brendon attributes much of the success of Lovejoy’s to the employees.
“I have an amazing staff,” he pointed out. “They’ve all been so flexible and willing to help.”
Call 503.567.7888 or visit LoveJoysPortland.com/reservations to book a table for Wednesdays through Sundays between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Vanessa Miali has lived in Concordia for 18 years. She is a former public relations professional with two kids who cooks every day and gardens occasionally.