Billy Corgan - Billy Corgan Wants Tea Shop To Become Cultural Attraction In Chicago
Rocker Billy Corgan is opening his own tea house in his native Chicago, Illinois because he's convinced there is a "lack of culture" in the city for locals his age.
The Smashing Pumpkins frontman, 44, announced plans for the unlikely new venture earlier this month (Dec11) and he is planning to open the cafe this coming spring (12).
He tells Eater Chicago, "It's a little bit of a salon vibe, not modern at all. Very old school. What we're going for is that Chinese-French style."
Corgan is determined to turn the tea house into a cool hangout for people of all ages and he is hoping to use the space to display art or host live music or spoken word shows.
He says, "We want to open it because there's nothing really to do up here. (There's a) lack of culture for someone in their 30s or 40s. I think for such a nice place you need places to go and meet people and exchange ideas. That's the idea for the tea house... a place to gather.
"It has a whimsical feel to it... it'll feel like you're stepping back in time in terms of space, but what we put into the space will change."
But Corgan doesn't want the cafe to become a tourist attraction for fans eager to catch a glimpse of the star - and he's already vowed to stay away if that happens.
He adds, "If people come in to stalk me I won't hang out because I don't want to disrupt the customers... The celebrity factor will mean something for the first four to six months and then it'll come down to whether it's a good business."
And Corgan believes working on turning it into a successful side business will have a positive affect on his musical creativity.
He says, "I've learned that if you don't fill up the other side of your life with things you're interested in it hurts the musical side. It's about achieving balance."