Bon Appetea Café serves a delicious selection of both freshly made teas and treats in the evolving Downtown Alhambra neighborhood.
BY: Sara Smola
Despite his passion for selling and staging homes, realtor Robert Chandler Lee of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services felt something was missing from his already busy life. “I’ve always fantasized about owning an eatery,” Lee explains. “A place where I can showcase my design take on a relaxing cafe, provide tasty offerings and a place to enjoy with clients and friends. An opportunity came when two friends; one who was a manager at a shabu shabu restaurant and one who was a manager at a popular Taiwanese cafe decided they wanted to combine crafts and open a cafe that patrons would enjoy immensely.” Lee’s fantasy came to fruition through his two ventures, Bon Appetea Café in Alhambra and newly opened Cafe Bungalow, By Bon Appetea in Azusa.
Lee’s Alhambra teahouse, Bon Appetea Cafe, has already achieved great success. The bustling café is located in the heart of Downtown Alhambra in a charming 1890s brick building. The inviting space (designed by Lee) caters to a variety of ages—from students to professionals. “The cafe is welcoming with a rustic, yet homey interior,” describes Lee. “Keeping with the theme of the exterior, I enlisted a masonry who added more brick work to walls within the interior. I love the concept of window seating, enjoy your tea while looking out, hence I included a “window bar” seating area. Then there is the “living room” with a floor to ceiling bookcase and two custom sofas centered on a coffee table. We also have a shaded exterior patio for those who enjoy alfresco dining.”
The café’s menu offers a wide selection of made to order, customizable beverages including coffees, milk teas, juices, slushes and flavored teas as well as savories and sweets to curb your appetite. “On the menu, we offer Taiwanese rice plates, snacks, but also include some western elements such as our Sundried Tomato and Pesto Sandwich, Open Faced Truffle Egg Pumpernickel and Kale Salad. Pair with a tea or coffee and you’re set,” Lee says. “Some even say that our Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken is the best in the San Gabriel Valley, reminding them of the night markets of Taiwan.”