By Karen Mead-Elford, staff writer

ABIDING IN THE VINE Tea Room owner, Corky Adams is shown at the front of her Owosso restaurant. (Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

“This is a lost art,” commented Corky Adams, owner of Abiding in the Vine Tea Room in Owosso, while discussing her main source of inspiration for starting her restaurant; her grandmother. Abiding in the Vine Tea Room opened in June of 2013 and has been at the current location on Main St. for two years. Corky’s Grandma Krause was a detailed lady who enjoyed sharing refined, gourmet foods from her home with her family despite having arthritis later in life. One word Corky used to describe her grandmother’s cakes was ‘grandiose.’ That image has stayed with Corky throughout her life. She fondly recalls making her grandmother sandwiches and being very cautious with the presentation of the food.

“I wasn’t envisioning anything this large,” Corky shared while discussing Abiding in the Vine, “when I first started, I thought I’d be able to do everything by myself.” She laughed. She is very grateful for her current staff and the continued support of the downtown area. Abiding in the Vine is in every sense a tearoom, but the focus is on themed events and having a good time.

“We’re not all prim and proper here. We love to have fun. It is just a fun place that serves great food,” Corky explained. She wants the public to know that children are welcome in her restaurant and she offers less formal, plastic cups and sippy cups for nervous parents. “The restaurant part of all of this just sort of tagged along after the other part of my dream,” she said. “No one in the area is like us. We have to have special experiences for you to keep coming.”

One ‘special experience’ she is currently planning is an upcoming Dolly and Me Tea Party. Girls (of any age) are invited to bring their favorite doll or teddy bear and for $25 per person, the entertainment will include a living doll entertainer, photo op, individual gift bags and each doll will even receive a tea cup and saucer memento from the event. This coming summer may even see a Teddy Bear Picnic event.

Four murder mysteries have been held at Abiding in the Vine, too. “We are very theatrical here,” Corky said.

Abiding in the Vine Tea Room is the #1 tea room in Michigan and numerous, positive reviews are available at Three Muskegon ladies recently visited the establishment after doing an internet search of their own. It is not uncommon for people to come from far off locations. Three couples visit weekly from the Flushing and Flint area.

Corky was born and raised in Owosso and is very connected to her hometown. Many will recognize her son, Josh Adams from DDA and Jake Adams who works with Randy Woodworth.

“Our target market is actually endless,” Corky shared. “There is a tea room culture out there. Red Hatters love us and seek out places like us.”

When discussing the menu, Corky emphasized that the most popular dish served at the restaurant is the Hot Almond Chicken Casserole that is a creamy mixture of chicken, almonds, onions, celery, and cheese. Her own favorite is the Bluepeary (blueberries and pears) Spring Salad because it is light and fresh. The quiche made from half-and-half and eggs is another popular dish. A kids menu is also included. “We try to cater to people with food allergies or concerns, too,” Corky spoke, “and to vegans.”

While preserving the ‘lost art’ of formal, gourmet food in a vintage setting, Abiding in the Vine Tea Room in Owosso offers themed entertainment, quality service and a hometown atmosphere. Creating memories is the essence of what Corky Adams is serving at her downtown restaurant.

Dining in Your Downtown – Abiding in the Vine was last modified: April 11th, 2016 by Karen Elford