“We’re hoping for a nice Christmas present (getting the license by the holidays),” he said.
Until then, the Keohanes apply for temporary, one-day liquor licenses for special events, such as wine dinners or bridal showers.
Keohane said success at the teahouse wouldn’t have been possible without the support he’s gotten from the community and town officials, as well as from his family.
His wife, Janet, selected the decor for the teahouse — from antique furnishings to the place mats and napkin rings. Janet runs the DogSpa boutique in North Beverly. The couple’s youngest son, Christopher, manages the teahouse, and their other son, Jason, manages food services at Henry’s and keeps the teahouse supplied.
“And we all still like each other,” Janet said with a smile.
Keohane has owned Henry’s since 1995 and worked for the store’s founder, Henry Swanson, for 21 years before purchasing the business. The Keohanes live on the Danvers/Wenham line and have a less-than-10-minute commute to each of their businesses.
John Keohane floated the idea of taking over the teahouse to the family at a gathering on Christmas Eve last year. They all agreed it would be a good idea, he said.
“The whole thing just fit,” Janet said. “It just works with everything we do.”
Established in 1912, the Wenham Tea House is considered the oldest continuously operating teahouse in the United States. It sits on a 6-acre parcel owned by the Wenham Village Improvement Society.
Bethany Bray can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.