MARIETTA - Winter weather has arrived, but even in a rainy drizzle, passersby still took time to stop and peer inside the bright and beckoning Wild Rivers tea room and art studio this week as owner Jane Tumas-Serna and her daughter Laura Serna-Maytorena hung artwork and decorated the space.
The women have been readying the space for a grand opening, set to take place Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight, said Tumas-Serna.
"We're going for that tea room feel, eclectic and comfortable to hang out," said Serna-Maytorena.
Photo by Jasmine Rogers
Owner Jane Tumas-Serna, right, and her daughter and fellow artist, Laura Serna-Maytorena, have been putting the finishing touches on Wild Rivers LLC, a downtown Marietta tea room and art studio, which will have its grand opening Saturday.
Customers will not find any vinyl booths or wholesale sets of tables and chairs inside Wild Rivers. Instead, bright cozy couches and scattered cafe tables provide seating in the front room.
Oriental rugs dot the floor. Bookshelves and tables are brimming with books, not for buying, but simply for enjoying.
Perhaps most noticeably, the walls are covered by dozens of original works of art for sale, all of them created by the two women and by Serna-Maytorena's son.
"He's a fourth-generation artist. We're a big family of artists," said Serna-Maytorena.
In addition to tea and art for sale, Serna-Maytorena plans on selling her baked goods and items from her well-curated vintage collection.
But art gallery, vintage shop, tea room and baked goods store barely scratches the surface of what the ladies hope Wild Rivers will soon offer.
"We have an art studio in the back. We're going to offer classes and workshops," said Tumas-Serna, who has a master's degree in Fine Arts from Ohio University.
One of the first workshops Tumas-Serna hopes to hold will involve using cell phones to shoot and edit videos of local historic buildings and destinations.
In addition, the owners have plans to hold poetry nights, host musicians, and much, much more.
"It's really a place to be expressive. If you've got things you do, come do them here," said Serna-Maytorena.
It is also a place to be studious, said Tumas-Serna. The tea room offers free wi-fi access so students can come and work on homework while enjoying teas from around the world or a variety of quirky bottled beverages, such as Jones Soda, juices and more.
The cafe offers satellite television in the room that the mother and daughter affectionately refer to as the "man room," because the men in their family helped to build it. However, the intimate lounge space that divides the front room from the art studio in back is really for everyone, said Tumas-Serna.
The women hope that Wild Rivers will fill somewhat of a void in the downtown daytime scene, they said.
"There's not really a place to go and hang out downtown during the daytime," said Serna-Maytorena.
After the grand opening, Wild Rivers is set to be open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight.