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Your Chicago: Madame Zuzu’s Tea House

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Rob Johnson Rob Johnson
Rob Johnson is the weekday anchor of the CBS 2 Chicago evening...
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(CBS) — Perhaps you’ve heard of it: Up on the North Shore, in Highland Park, there is new tea house that opened last fall called Madame Zuzu’s.

Aside from its novel concept, it’s the owner who has made the venture even more intriguing.

CBS 2’s Rob Johnson reports.

Billy Corgan has been on the national stage for more than 20 years as the front man for the multiple Grammy Award-winning alternative band The Smashing Pumpkins.

When he’s not on tour, Corgan can be found pursuing two of his other passions: professional wrestling promotion and Madame Zuzu’s Tea House.

Perhaps his greatest challenge beyond getting the tea house and its neon sign in the window approved by the Highland Park City Council was convincing leaders this would be nothing like the venture that made him famous.

“I think it really started on the first day when people saw that it had nothing to do with rock and roll. And that’s is the key,” Corgan says.

During a recent “open mic” night, it was eclectic, to be sure. It’s Corgan’s artistic enterprise, whether he’s there or not. He envisions different forms of entertainment, an art gallery and more.

“There needs to be other ancillary businesses that spin off this,” he says.

For Corgan, it’s still about the music, even though audiences’ tastes and attention spans have changed over the years, thanks to their ubiquitous mobile devices.

“There was a time when i took it personally, like, what am I not doing or doing, and now I realize it’s sort of a much bigger issue,” he says.

To learn more about Madame Zuzu’s, click here.

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