After refueling shoppers during June’s thedropLA@barneys at Barneys New York‘s Beverly Hills flagship, the Los Angeles-based Alfred endeared itself to store executives, who invited the tea shop to open an outpost at the Madison Avenue flagship. Alfred Tea at Barneys opens today on the seventh floor near women’s ready-to-wear and shoes.
“We think this adds a different unique approach to the experience of shopping at Barneys,” said Tomm Miller, executive vice president of marketing and communications.”There’s a customer who comes to the store to spend hours and hours. This has an entertainment value. It’s another way to keep them in the store. The installation itself is a social moment,” she said referring to the pink tile shop with the legend, “Tea, yes. You, maybe” written in neon.
The outpost will operate from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. through Sunday, this weekend. For the next three weeks, the schedule will be Thursday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., through Dec. 23.
A menu of cult classics will be served, including a special drink for Barneys, the two-tone Matcha in Blue, a green-and-blue concoction made from matcha, almond milk, butterfly blossom, mint, lavender and vanilla ($7); Matchacano ($5), and Earl Grey, jasmine and peach blossom teas. There are also custom teas and a chocolate bar with organic Venezuelan cacao cocoa shells and another with organic American peppermint.
Alfred operates two tea rooms in L.A. and two in Tokyo, where three more are slated to open in the spring. It’s looking to open units in Hong Kong and Mainland China as part of a major Asian expansion.
The brand didn’t start out as a teetotaling establishment. Its first incarnation was as the Alfred Coffee Shop on Melrose Avenue. “I realized we were doing a certain number of teas in the coffee shop, said chief executive officer Josh Zad. “I created a footprint for a modern tea room. Tea has an image issue, so we dressed it up in pink tile from head to toe and neon. People realize it’s not stodgy.”
Alfred collaborated with Barneys on a selection of caps, mugs and T-shirts with the Alfred New York Logo printed in Barneys’ typeface. “Our brands align very well and our customers align very well,” Zad said.