Kathleen’s Tea Room Tees Up its Revival

Kathleen’s Tea Room owner Vivian McKenzie, Mayor of Peekskill, with rendering of what will be her rebuilt cafe on Main Street

They came bearing gifts and appreciation and admiration. Some 60 family, friends and City of Peekskill officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony at 979 Main Street on March 13, 2024, to celebrate the reincarnation of Kathleen’s Tea Room. Owned and operated by Vivian McKenzie, Mayor of Peekskill, the popular cafe, called “iconic” by one speaker, was razed on June 2, 2021, after its roof collapsed. A new three-story structure will house apartments on two upper floors, above the 40-seat storefront.

“What an amazing day and what a long time coming,” an emotional McKenzie told the crowd, adding, ”but it is well worth the wait. My famly is here and it’s just great to know they’re always by my side.” Referring to husband Eric, she added, “This is my rock and he works really hard keeping our family and our business together, and I couldn’t do it without him and our children.” 

Bill Powers, Executive Director of Peekskill’s Business Improvement District (BID), gave the Mayor antique teacups to restart her collection that was lost in the collapse. 

Councilman Brian Fassett said, “This is truly an example of what Peekskill is … you knock us down we’re going to get up. I can’t wait to get my salads and tea and scones from this building.” 

Roger Campos of Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, which is involved in financing the business, called Peekskill “the most welcoming community I’ve ever worked in. Everybody just pulls for each other in their time of need.” 

Councilwoman Kathie Talbot remarked that a friend of hers from Pleasantville who misses Kathleen’s chicken salad keeps asking when it will be back.  

It’s anticipated that the new Kathleen’s will be back in business by year-end.

“Bless the builders,” said Fassett. “Let’s get it done!”  


1 Comment

  1. I am so happy to hear this good news. Your tearoom was a favorite place for me, family and friends.
    Elizabeth Marrapodi

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