When Park Slope's beloved Tea Lounge shuttered in December, neighbors and freelancers were so distraught two discussed trying to take over the lease for the giant space across the street from the Park Slope Food Co-op. While things have been quiet, and the cafe has sat empty, Tea Lounge regular Steven Stromer and former Tea Lounge bartender Eric Langa have been working to raise close to $200,000, to reopen it as The Park Slope Meeting House. The reimagined space would be part coffee shop, part community center, co-working space, restaurant, and store, all of which will operate with a membership program for regulars. Stromer describes the project as a place where "you can walk in, you can buy a book on knitting, you can buy knitting supplies, you can sit down and you can knit, and as it happens there will be a knitting class twice a month."
Stromer has already hired some staff and selected an architect, but he needs to raise $40,500 before April 1 to hold on to the space. Landlord Harold Dixon is interested in the idea, according to DNAinfo, but also needs to lease the space and has a few interested parties. Stromer is opting in an ever-so Park Slope fashion to raise funds through the community, not with sites like Kickstarter. He explains: "The most respectful thing to do is to first approach the neighborhood and the people who will want to have a voice in this place down the road."