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A Beloved Japanese Tea House Will Open its Second Location in a Bookstore

Behind the Museum Café is opening Book of Tea Café in an upcoming Japanese bookstore

Behind the Museum Café
Alex Frane/EPDX

Tomoe Horibuchi, owner and baker of Behind the Museum Café, will open a second location of her charming teahouse and bakery — Book of Tea Café will be tucked into the soon-to-open Japanese mega-bookstore, Kinokuniya, the Oregonian first reported. The small cafe will serve the same teas and matcha lattes as the bright, window-lined Museum Café, as well as a slightly trimmed-down version of the food menu, including onigiri, breakfast sandwiches, and tea-based sweets like matcha brownies and soft serve.

The bookstore, a branch of a large chain based out of Japan, is set to open in the former Guild Theatre at SW 9th and Salmon Street, just blocks from Horibuchi’s current shop; the location will be its second in the Portland area after its branch in Beaverton’s Uwajimaya. Horibuchi is well acquainted with the stores, having visited often in Japan and in San Francisco, which she called home for 20 years before moving to Portland, but she didn’t approach them about the opening. “I didn’t think of opening a second spot,” Horibuchi says. “But they came here and asked… they were so kind, and they didn’t even think of anyone else, apparently.”

The Book of Tea Café will be smaller than the eight-year-old Behind the Museum Café, just 800 square-feet compared to 2,500. Horibuchi described the space as one large communal table, with around 10 or 11 chairs, and a focus on to-go drinks and food.

The bookshop, which she says will have a focus on Japanese comics, stationary, and gifts, is looking to open in early July. Until then, guests can stop by her current cafe alongside the many visiting museum guests and Portland State students.