Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Thirstea Café tea shop has closed on 10th Street

After seven years in business here on East 10th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue, Thirstea Café has closed its doors for good.

Winn O’Donnell, who ran the small shop with his business partner Helen He, confirmed the news via email on Sunday.

O’Donnell didn't site a specific reason for the closure... "just the usual stuff," he said. (Higher rents. The increasing cost of running a small business in NYC. Etc.)

People we know who liked the shop and the variety of teas appreciated O'Donnell's hands-on approach to his business, working there full time (not an absentee owner, in other words). Patrons also appreciated that they kept the prices the same for most of the life of Thirstea.

[Photo of O'Donnell from April by Stacie Joy]

In an interview with us back in April, O'Donnell discussed what prompted him to open a cafe here in July 2009:

We have always loved the East Village. We were happy to find a storefront here. We wanted to open up a cafe as tea lovers and wanted to share our sense of taste and style. We have always loved how the East Village has a lot of mom-and-pop shops. We love the vibe of all the specialty stores and wanted to create one of our own.


Anonymous said...

Stuff like this makes me sad. Even though I only visited a few times, the service was always peppy and professional and the spot was quaint. Nothing seems to stay in this neighborhood :(

Good luck to the owners.

Gojira said...

Damn. As a rabid black tea drinker, I went here on a fairly regular basis to restock. So sorry to hear this...

Anonymous said...

I will miss Thirstea a lot. I loved the bubble tea in particular, but I also enjoyed stopping in and chatting with Winn during the day. He is a friendly, interesting guy, and he really got to know his customers, and he made everyone feel welcome. That's a lost art in this day and age where you feel like you are just being run through an assembly line and rushed out the door at other establishments. I wish Winn good luck in whatever is next.--CC

Anonymous said...

If you wanted more tea and less sugary flavors, this was the place to go for a bubble tea. Sorry to see them go - it was good to have a local option against a backdrop of chains.

Anonymous said...

Tea must be a tough business. Then again anything is a tough business around here in 2016.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see them close..they had great tea and tea info.
East Village Corner

Anonymous said...

I went on the search for the best bubble tea in NYC, and even though it was more expensive than the basic Asian ones this spot was the winner!!!! Used to come here every week for the hot taro bubble tea. Winn was the best, even remembered me after I moved away and visited a year later!! Will miss this place :(