Brenda, this is for you!! :D our market research begins!!
Case #1 : Samovar Tea Lounge
Theme: Moorish (hah!) Middle Eastern, Fusion
Look/feel: Trendy, clean, comfort on a scale of 1-10….6; good ambience, complemented overall theme
Menu: smart decor… lots of choices! Food: on scale of 1-10….7. It’s pretty darn good, special, things you won’t be able to make at home (unless you $$$ on ingredients + time) and though I’m untrained, seemed pretty authentic hah…
Tea: 2 samples: Masala Chai and Russian Tea? not the most impressive in my book, but slightly more serious about their tea…on a scale of 1-10… 7 as well
Crowd: A good mix, including older people, families, yuppies, and will note that we saw a naked man and a condom balloon that day…
Price: Reasonable… on a scale of $- $$$$, I’d say….$$
Additional thoughts: Seems very capital intensive. Set up was awesome, took you someplace else, but wasn’t the most comfortable, and didn’t seem like it was easy for the servers to move around either. A great place to try, and dine every so often, but not the look and feel I’d want to recreate. Teas were interesting, I didn’t try anything that i would outwardly recognize and actually be able to evaluate, but variety was amazing, and it all seemed authentic.