It has been a post office, a coal transportation hub, a freight station, and now, after 20 years of vacancy, SEPTA’s Cynwynd train station is reopening as an environmentally-friendly cafe and tea room.
Cynwyd Station Cafe and Tea Room has just opened its doors under the direction of owner Sadie Francis. The building was one of the original stations of the Pennsylvania Railroad, opened in 1890. The building had been devastated by three fires, damage from water and termites, and five decades of neglect. A LEED-accredited green building specialist, Francis saw an opportunity to salvage part of Pennsylvania’s history and to demonstrate a wide array of environmentally-responsible projects including rainwater harvesting benches and vertical gardens.
The transformation could not have happened without the efforts of many. The buildings renovation and reopening is the result of a $242,000 capital campaign which was matched by the Lower Merion Township. The Lower Merion Historical Society contributed $190,000 plus materials. The building is leased to the town who is subletting to Francis via the historical society.
The tea room menu includes black, green, and white teas; chai; and herbal infusions as well as coffee and old-fashioned drinks like phosphate sodas, ice cream sodas, egg creams, and rickeys. Ice cream is on the menu as well as a Victorian tea of pastries with local honey and jam. No corn syrup, additives or artificial ingredients are used and all waste from the cafe is composted or recycled.
For those looking for a special gift, visitors can also purchase artisan salts; urban local honey, jams and jellies; jewelry; soap; and other locally made products.
The cafe, located at 375 Conshohocken State Road, Bala Cynwyd, Penn., is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer