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LA’s American Tea Room Shuts Down All Retail Locations Overnight

The company is going back to its online-only roots

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American Tea Room in Newport Beach
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

American Team Room is set for a sudden downsizing, after making the difficult decision yesterday to immediately stop operations at all three of their Southern California tea shops.

The company has always had a strong brand recognition online, but pushed into the brick and mortar realm more forcefully in the past few years, opening up standalone tea bars in Beverly Hills, the Arts District, and Newport Beach. Each one was meant to act as a retail shop for takeaway tea, while also offering lounge and working space for customers who wanted to stick around a while. The shops were meant to compete with the enduring growth of the modern coffee shop across Los Angeles and the greater Southland, but now those plans have been laid aside.

In a statement, founder David Barenholtz says:

We have made the incredibly tough decision to close American Tea Room's three shops in Beverly Hills, the Arts District, and Newport Beach as we reevaluate the retail component of the company. Though we don't have brick & mortar locations for the time being, we will continue to offer the best rare and artisanal teas nationwide on our website. We sincerely thank all of our longtime regulars and staff for their support, and we look forward to sharing what the next chapter of the company has in store.

While American Tea Room may have suddenly closed all of its locations, there remains a small collection of more traditional tea houses across Los Angeles for customers looking for a more finger sandwich-friendly afternoon tea experience.