Downtown Social Club

After supper tonight Catherine and Oliver and I headed to the new tea house on Grafton Street to see what it was all about.

It’s in the large space recently vacated by Pinky’s Place, across from The Pilot House. Before Pinky’s it was a travel agency and the building was originally home to the Prince Edward movie theatre.

Tea House

The concept of the new place was explained to us as “you come in with your friends, you drink tea, you eat snacks, you play cards.” And to facilitate this there are several large tables, each with its own tray of snacks, menu (in Chinese only, for now) and deck of cards:

Inside the Tea House

Tea House Snacks

We ordered a couple of oolong teas and some sort of strawberry beverage for Oliver, and were told to just consume snacks as we liked and it would all be added up at the end.

We enjoyed a couple of rousing games of Go Fish! and attempted, in vain, to recall the rules of Crazy 8s. The tea was very nice, and our cups were constantly topped up with fresh hot water.

Tea House Card Game

Leading off the large open space are some private rooms that you can reserve for groups; we were told that mahjong is to be played and an additional selection of desserts will soon be available.

One of the missing links in the Charlottetown social scene has been a place to hang out, after supper, that’s not a restaurant or a bar; this new place – it has a name, after the couple that owns it, but my Chinese typing abilities aren’t up to it – stays open until 10:00 p.m. seven days a week. It would be great to see it evolve into a sort of cross-cultural downtown night-time hangout.

Tea House Hours


Ryan's picture
Ryan on November 1, 2010 - 15:50 Permalink

These kinds of places are pretty common in Montreal’s Chinatown, so I assume Chinatowns elsewhere as well. Most serve bubble tea and are reliable places to get a snack after most other kitchens in town close. Some have interesting retro, pseudo-gambling video games, some have pool or air hockey tables, it varies. They’re not licensed, and they’re open late, so naturally their clientele is quite young. All in all, probably not the worst place for kids to be hanging out after dark; their owners probably aren’t getting rich in the process, but I recognize the value of the service they are providing.