A Place Like Cheers
Over the three years that I was manager, I was happy to see that the establishment had become a place where people knew your name and came to enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere. Unlike the more stuffy eating locales on campus, such as the CoHo or Tresidder, the Teahouse had that homelike air to it. Plus, it didn’t hurt that we had a TV that ran exciting Asian movies such as Eat, Drink, Man, Woman and Jet Li’s Tai-Chi Master on an ongoing basis!
Three Baos, wrapped to-go, please!
They were the regulars, the ones whose orders you knew the minute they walked in the door. From Matt and his three wrapped bao’s to-go to Heyning’s sui mai appetite, it was a pleasure to serve them throughout my years as a Teahouse manager.
In 1996, Randy and I were given the task of performing food runs to San Francisco whenever the Teahouse food stores were running dangerously low. Armed with the Teahousemobile, Randy’s beat-up but loveable Toyota Tercel, we performed a number of crucial, top-secret missions to Dick Lee Pastry Shop at 777 Jackson Street in San Francisco in the heart of Chinatown.
There, we loaded up the Teahousemobile with crates of delectable shrimp dumplings, juicy pork dumplings, enormous baos, and crunchy fortune cookies. We then whisked these scrumptious foodstuffs back to the Teahouse, where the crates were safely delivered into the spacious freezer and fridge. Along the way, we made a number of trips to the local CostCo in Mountain View, picking up bags of potstickers, boxes of Maruchan and Korean Ramen, and other yummy Teahouse items.
Our mission accomplished, we helped to keep the Teahouse running for yet another week or two.
Grand Opening, 1996
On January 18, 1996, just days after I returned to Stanford from my studies in Paris, France, the Teahouse reopened to great fanfare. It was closed while I was in France, but the managers had coordinated a grand opening at the beginning of Winter Quarter my junior year.
We also ran an article in CommuniAsians, a newsletter highlighting Asian American news and activities on campus, signaling the opening of the Teahouse in the beginning of 1996.
Many of my friends and a few relatives came to witness the opening of the Teahouse that night, and we had a staple of old customers returning for their favorite shrimp and pork dumplings and a horde of new customers enjoying the Teahouse for the first time.