- Melissa Pasanen
- Sonin in the outdoor seating area of Junks Tea House
Phinneus Sonin will soon open a café called Junks Tea House in his Junktiques Collective vintage store at 324 North Winooski Avenue in Burlington. The menu will include tea, espresso and chai; juices, smoothies and housemade, fruit-syrup-soaked shaved ice; and thin, freshly pressed waffles folded around savory or sweet fillings.
All food and drink items will be priced with a suggested donation range, and shoppers will be offered a free drink when they enter the store.
Sonin doesn't believe in apostrophes, he said, in reference to the lack of one in his new teahouse's name. Nor does he believe in capitalism. "Instead of supporting capitalism, it's based in catapultism," Sonin said with a grin. "We're sending it."
Known for his work with the now-defunct Burlington theater company Spielpalast, Sonin said he was inspired by trips across the border to "an amazing thrift store" in Montréal called Boutique Eva B. "When you enter, you'd always get offered a cup of tea or cider," he said.
Junks Tea House will operate out of a new, small kitchen in a section of the shop that previously housed pots and pans. Customers can order inside the store or through a takeout window.
- Melissa Pasanen
- Phinneus Sonin at the take out window of Junks Tea House
Sonin has set up chairs, tables and games in the tented outdoor shopping area behind the store where people can enjoy their drinks, food and each other, he said. He plans to host community events, such as puppet shows and poetry readings; a clothing swap is already in the works. "My goal is for people to congregate here," Sonin said.
Junks Tea House will officially open in the next few weeks, Sonin said, with hours starting at 2 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.