HANFORD — There’s a new downtown business brewing up delicious drinks to satisfy the animal in us all.
Tiger Tea House, located at 225 N. Irwin St., had its soft opening on May 25 and has already been keeping busy with plenty of customers who have come out to support them.
“We can’t ask for more,” owner Ming Lu “Jim” Jin said. “We feel lucky.”
Jin owns the tea house along with his wife, Ying “Annie” Wang. Jin has a culinary background and has owned a Chinese restaurant in the past.
The couple, who have two children, wanted to create a nice place to relax, hang out and where people could just enjoy themselves.
So when it came down to opening a new restaurant or something different, they decided to go with signature teas and boba.
Jin handcrafted the menu himself, which he said focuses on quality over quantity.
“What you see in the picture is what you’re going to get,” Jin said.
While other places have extensive menus, Jin wanted to keep it simple. The tea house offers 24 fresh brew fruit teas.
The Jin family, who moved from Kansas to Hanford about six years ago, enjoy the smaller-town life. So it comes as no surprise that they chose downtown Hanford as the location of their new business.
Jin said he has always loved the atmosphere, look and character of downtowns, and he especially loves supporting local businesses and artists.
In fact, a large tiger painting on the tea house’s wall inside was painted by local artist Jennifer Butts.
Jin said he feels downtown Hanford as really starting to come alive and loves to see people walking around during events like Thursday Night Market Place.
“You can’t go wrong with downtown,” Jin said. “If you have the right stuff — right people, right business — I think we’ll do OK.”
Michelle Brown, executive director of Main Street Hanford, said she is excited to have Tiger Tea House in downtown Hanford. She said the business is already generating word of mouth and foot traffic.
The tea house was a recipient of Main Street’s facade grant, which helped pay for half of the business’ signage in the front and back of the building.
“We were happy to do that for them,” Brown said. “The more businesses that can bring in new people, the better.”
Tiger Tea House will have a grand opening, but Jin said they still haven’t figured out when exactly that will be. He said they are making some final touches before everything is ready.
Jin said to keep an eye on the business’ Facebook page for updates.
“We would definitely love to meet all the people in town,” he said. “Come and check out our place.”
As a note, in order to restock, clean and keep things fresh, Tiger Tea House has a two hour break from 2-4 p.m. every day.