CLINTON, Ill. (WCIA) – Just outside of downtown Clinton, surrounded by woods, sits a big white mansion.

“The house is about 110 years old and we bought it from a wonderful family that lived here as a family home and so we evolved it into this,” Melinda Decker, a co-owner, said.

Inside that old home, you might be surprised what you find.

“About 20 years ago, my mom and my aunt and I started to talk about the idea of doing something like La Tea Da, because everywhere we travel we love to seek out the little guys, the mom and pops, and some place unique and different and we wanted that experience in Clinton,” she said.

That’s how they started La Tea Da. It’s a place to enjoy a good sandwich, catch up with old friends, or even do some shopping, but the owners said they want it to be so much more.

“Sometimes tea rooms get a bad rap that it’s a female only place to hang out. You know, the flowery wallpaper can be intimidating for some guys,” she said. “We’re not just about little tiny sandwiches. We’re about full portions, big desserts, yummy grilled sandwiches. Once we can get them here the first time, they come back. It’s really changing the perception of what a tea room is, shifting gears and evolving.”

When COVID hit, they had to switch gears and do it fast. From mostly dine in, to exclusively carry out and then when outdoor dining was the only option in the state, they built a patio.

Now, they have a brand new bathroom outside, a full kitchen and bar on the patio, and even a stage for bands to play.

They want the people in our town Clinton to know their place is a one stop shop for everyone in the family.

“We’ve really been able to expand our awareness in the community about what La Tea Da is and who we are and what we’re here to do. Which is give people an amazing experience. Whether they’re coming for lunch and shopping or they’re coming for dinner drinks and live entertainment, we want them to come here and it’s not just about coming to eat it’s about the overall experience,” she said.

They update their Facebook daily with new menu items and other events happening. You can find more here.