In 2005, Kim and Curt Arney opened the White Oak Tea Tavern. The small, 1700s cabin in Botetourt County could fit 25 people. Even in such a small facility people flocked to the destination tea tavern. Trying the tea was by reservation only, usually made well in advance.
The Salem Historical Society started looking for a business to lease the Preston Place, a massive historical building on West Main Street. Kim stated “they [the Salem Historical Society] wanted someone who would appreciate the history and would keep the doors open. Moving was a no brainer.” Kim and Curt wanted to have room to grow, and grow they did. Expanding from a 24 seat venue to 80 seats, they have still reached maximum occupancy multiple times.
In addition to more seating, White Oak Tea Tavern now has a large gift shop and a private event room. The private event room is typically booked every Saturday for a month in advance. On their small menu you can find over 30 teas, their famous chicken salad, bagel sandwiches, and a variety of freshly baked pastries. There are over 100 loyal patrons who White Oak at least once a week.
If you can’t get enough of their tea, feel free to join their Monthly Tea Club. Each month an exclusive tea is available for Tea Club Members.