History

hanging-sign.jpgPhoenix Pearl Tea has a long and storied history. It began as a bookstore in 1986 under the name Broadway Bookstore in Red Lodge, MT. The original store was about a block away from our current flagship store, and it was only a quarter the size. The original owners had a metaphysical focus, the next owner ran it as a used bookstore, and the third owner had a mix of new and used books with a focus on Montana history.

Gary and Kathy Robson purchased the store on October 15, 2001, renamed it Red Lodge Books, and moved it to larger quarters in May 2002. We expanded again in February 2010, opening a tea bar and bringing in journals, maps, toys & games, and quality cigars. Eventually, in 2013, we renamed it Red Lodge Books & Tea.

Game Nights were a regular occurrence in the bookstore, as we stocked a modest selection of tabletop games, and used it as an excuse to bring people together once a week to play games, drink tea, and be merry.

phoenix-pearl-tea-exterior-with-new-sign-smaller.jpgIn 2016, Red Lodge Books & Tea sold to a new bookstore project opening in Billings, taking with it all the inventory, fixtures, and management. After less than a year, Gary and his daughter & tea bar manager, Gwendolyn Gunn, decided to open a new shop back in Red Lodge under their own banner once more. Thus was born the Phoenix Pearl Tea Tavern.

Phoenix Pearl Tea came about because of our love of tea, our love of Red Lodge, and the need for a place of calm, relaxation, and safety. The name is not just an allusion to "rising from the ashes" of Red Lodge Books & Tea, but also from a style of tea that all of us adore. In our rising from the ashes, we brought about a tavern in town to come where you could enjoy the quiet and calm, rather than the energy of a bar or a coffee shop, somewhere you could have a drink with your friends that didn't necessitate alcohol, somewhere to relax, feel comfortable, and be safe.

We continue that mission today, even outside of our flagship location. Our entire selection is sold online, and we aim to get you the teas you need to find peace in a tumultuous world today. Stress is a continual strain on people today, and we hope to provide some solace, whether you can visit us in Red Lodge, or buy our tea in the safety of your home.