TULSA, Okla. — It’s been a rough few weeks for Victoria's Tea Room. Business has been so slow the past few weeks, and it hasn't had a single to-go order while restaurants were only permitted to do curbside pickup.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, owner Sheila Daniels had questioned if it was time to close her tea room's doors for good, but the 75-year-old entrepreneur has decided to not give up.
"It’s something that just keeps pushing you on, and I hope that it will be busy and people will come and enjoy," Daniels said.
For Daniels, the tea she serves has always been more than a drink.
“My mother and dad never had a lot of money, but we knew we had a tea set," Daniels said, "So, we’d play tea all the time and it was fun.”
Over time, she made that game of make believe a reality at her restaurant, Victoria’s Tea Room, located at 7853 E 71st St, Tulsa, OK 74133.
“I don’t come to work. I come to play in my team room and I work," Daniels said. “It’s a nice business to be in. It makes them happy. It's a good place for people to come in and get rid of their troubles and sit for an hour or two."
However, her business became troubled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We didn’t have any carry out orders or stuff like that. So, I’ve been shut done since the day they shut us down," Daniels said.
And when she wasn’t able to get help.
"I tried for two or three assistance programs and couldn’t get any help there either," Daniels said. "It's was very emotional for me in the beginning, and that’s your livelihood. So, now what do you do."
But when she asked that question, she already knew the answer to it in her heart because she wants to keep helping others feel special, even just for a little while.
"You always got to keep going on as long as I am physically able to work, I’m going to work. This is my passion. This is what I like. It makes people happy," Daniels said. "Everyone should be able to forget their troubles and feel like a prince or princess."
Victoria's Tea Room reopens tomorrow at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 8.
Friday through Sunday, Daniels will be giving every mom a free dessert.
To make a reservation, call 918-313-9204.
Take a look at the special reopening menu below.
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