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Teas Your Spirits Eatery To Offer Downtown Fusion Dining

Mayra Betances poses in front of Teas Your Spirits Eatery, the teahouse and restaurant she's opening with chef Ernesto Villegas.

Something new is brewing in Downtown Hilliard.

Teas Your Spirits Eatery, a fusion restaurant and tea house, will offer a multi-cultural dining experience when it opens this spring at 5286 Center St.

The concept is a partnership between tea enthusiast Mayra Betances, originally from the Dominican Republic, and Chef Ernesto Villegas, of Bolivia.

“I know the Hilliard community is ready for a multi-cultural dining experience close to home,” said Betances, who moved to the Hilliard area in 2015. “And I believe a business is made up of what you can offer to a community.”

The Caribbean-inspired menu will include Bolivian empanadas, chimichurri burgers, pesto paninis, flatbreads, lamb chops, and oyster night specials with daily vegetarian and vegan options. The expansive tea and cocktail menu include a hibiscus margarita, turmeric hot toddy, butterfly mimosa, as well as English teas and lattes. 

Betances grew up drinking ginger tea and began brewing her own combinations of dried flowers, herbs, and tea leaves as a pandemic hobby in 2020.

“I started with dried hibiscus and ginger and the ritual of mixing and brewing was meditative for me,” she said. “After more experimentation, I found myself buying Indian spices and it started taking over my table.”

Soon she was selling (and selling out) at farmer’s markets and pop-up shops.

“When people started asking me where my storefront is, that’s when I realized it’s a business,” she added.

She has already launched her own nonprofit, Create Happy Moments, to create multi-cultural educational programming, and hopes to integrate activities at Teas Your Spirits.

“Create Happy Moments has created a community here and now it was a home,” she said.

Betances has big plans for the Downtown space, which includes adding greenhouses along the back of the property to grow her own herbs, flowers, and vegetables. She also plans to offer enhanced outdoor entertainment and dining and upgrade the signage and fences.

The Hilliard Development Corporation (HDC) awarded a grant as part of the Old Hilliard Facade Improvement Program to help fund the improvements.

The Old Hilliard Façade Improvement Program is designed to stimulate private investment in high-quality building improvements that create and enhance community image and character in Old Hilliard. The program shares the costs of improving commercial building exteriors and publicly used amenities.

“Mayra’s passion is contagious, and she has endless creative ideas,” said Angela Zody, the City’s Downtown Manager. “We’re so excited these grant dollars can help make her business dream a reality.”

To learn more about business grant opportunities visit here.

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