Steampunk tea room opens in Beaverton

Afternoons are meant for tea, but once you've stepped into the new Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium in downtown Beaverton, you'll be yearning for a cuppa most any time. Owner Maggie Nolder got a taste for tea shops while on a two-week tour of Ireland with husband Harold. After the first sip in a particularly charming Victorian tea room, Maggie wanted to explore tea shops at every stop.

"I was like, 'OK, let's have tea with a scone, a little biscuit, a little something,'" she said. "By the time we were done, we were hunting for places to have tea!"

She began collecting tea cups as she went along. It was part of her plan to create tea cup candles for the soap and candle company she owned for 10 years. But others on the tour joked that she was collecting so many she'd need to open a tearoom of her own. And voila! A plan was hatched.

Maggie envisioned a steampunk setting and Harold set to work making it a reality. To do that they shopped almost daily at The ReStore in Beaverton.

According to Maggie, 90 percent of everything in the Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium was refurbished or upcycled.  She, Harold and daughter Jordan Bailey have done a remarkable job re-imagining old pieces and odds and ends to create a delightfully relaxing ambience.

Dirigible light fixture: "There are typewriter parts up there, gears, part of a grease gun and part of an old antique oiler. I got those two from The ReStore," Harold explained. He also used an antique faucet handle. The balloon portion of the airship was crafted from pvc piping, wood, badminton netting (all from The ReStore) as well as 1800 LED lights with color-shifting remote control.

A tea wall:  "Those are old doors we got from The ReStore," Harold said of the large elaborate gear-silhouetted counter display. "Four doors and really large gears salvaged from Brandon's restaurant that went out of business."

A steampunk mantel:  "It's solid wood, but we have painted it," Maggie said. "I think it’s got like 20 different colors on there of black and gray and silver that have been rubbed in to age it."

Hot-air balloon corner:  "Those are antique models that were from the early 30s, 40s, and 50s at Goodwill," Harold said pointing to a display suspended from the ceiling. "My wife has gone and digitally redone some of the art work up on the wall and added the balloons in."

A huge chess board:  "It was just a standard wood coffee table, like pine colored coffee table," said Maggie. It's been transformed into an eye-catching parlor centerpiece.

And Maggie's personal favorite: "I love this chair," she said of an early ReStore purchase now looking perfectly Parisian. "This is one of my favorite chairs. I think it was the first thing we got. It was an old yellow chair, the fabric was ripped. I redid it."

Maggie, Harold and Jordan set the table for their first guests September 17. Their extensive menu covers breakfast, lunch and a compendium of tea varietals, including Harney & Sons black, green and herbal teas, as well as vegan and gluten-free options.

Maggie described the Clockwork Rose's high tea - available with 24-hour notice - as a "whole three-tiered little party."

"High tea means a full meal. It comes with soup or salad; it comes with four tea sandwiches, quiche, clotted cream and scones, jams, custards and then we've got macaroons, cookies, petit fours, cream puffs," she listed.

With regular tea room hours until 7pm, the Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium will also offer special monthly theme parties and catered in-house events. Walk in and see what new project Maggie and Harold are working on. There’s a good chance it will be from The ReStore.

“We know everybody by name because we’re always still looking for stuff,” Maggie laughed. “And everything we bought that we didn’t use we just donated it back because we know it can be reused somewhere else.”

Tea, did you say?

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What is steampunk? Most succinctly it's defined as: Victorian science fiction. An Urban Dictionary entry says, "It could be described by the slogan 'What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.'"

Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium: Info, menu, location, high tea RSVP
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