- Jim Ingram, Staff Writer
One of Belmont’s best kept lunch secrets may very well be Communitea Cafe at 100 Watervliet Ave. Though it’s been open for nearly two years, the quaint business is tucked away within a mostly residential area.
“I had to have it rezoned,” owner Dawn Thomas explained. “That took 90 days, because (the city) wanted to protect the integrity of the neighborhood.”
Thomas, a lifelong Dayton resident and Belmont High School graduate, grew up in the neighborhood. When she saw the building, which has been everything from a neighborhood grocery to an antiques store from 1930 on, she jumped at the chance to start Communitea there.
“I was always in love with this little building,” she said.
The cold and refreshing peach tea.
The cafe offers a variety of sandwiches, with soups and salads. There are also up to 13 brews available at any given time, including their specialty, lavender lemonade. But you have to save room for the scones, which are topped with a generous dollop of imported clotted cream.
The décor is lined with various knick-knacks and relics from Dayton’s younger days.
“I love anything to do with Dayton. I have had people bring in hat boxes. People donate teapots, hats and linens,” Thomas said.
The deluxe chicken salad sandwich served at Communitea.
Communitea Cafe also takes a no-hassle approach to service. A bell is placed at each table so guests can get their server’s attention without being hovered over or interrupted every few minutes.
And the neighborhood is glad to see the cafe there. Thomas says people from the area periodically stop by to see the restaurant.
“One of the best things about being in this building is everybody coming back to see it and being happy. ‘Oh, something really good is happening in Belmont!’” she said.
The sinfully delicious scones are topped with a generous dollop of clotted cream.
The cafe is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, while catering special events seven days a week. Thomas, who is also a real estate agent, hopes to expand the business.
“My hope is I would like to have a food truck,” she said. “I would like to have a vintage camper and just do scones and lavender lemonade for food truck rallies. I joke that I sell real estate to support my tea habit,” she laughed.
Want to go?
WHAT: Communitea Cafe
WHERE: 100 Watervliet Ave., Dayton
WHEN: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
INFO: 937-554-5626 | www.teamakesmehappy.com