This place thrived during the Carter administration. In many ways, the Stone's Tea Room kind of symbolized the malaise of the late 1970's. I think it finally closed its doors in the late 1980's, but I'm not really sure. It was suitably located in the basement of the Stone and Thomas building in downtown Wheeling. Once bustling with non-stop activity, business slowly dropped off when they built the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville. There was usually a large line at lunch time and you had to wait an exasperating 2 minutes to get a table. They may have had a non-smoking section. I can't seem to remember although I do remember the place was always filled with smoke. I recall one time when my father was annoyed at the woman sitting next to us puffing on a cigarette, blowing smoke in our direction. He always claimed to be allergic to cigarette fumes, but I think this may have been an exaggeration on his part. I was about 9 years old at the time and told him, "Don't worry, I'll take care of it." Before he could say anything, I got out of my seat and dumped a little water in her ashtray thus extinguishing the cigarette. She was pissed off but didn't say anything. They just got up and left. Little did I know that this event would foreshadow a future of heinous acts and generally dissident behavior.
I can remember that the menu had some interesting pricing discrepencies. For example:
Egg Salad on toast, 63 cents
Egg Salad on bun, 67 cents
Egg Salad on bagel, 72 cents
I'd like to speak with the micro-manager/bean counter who came up with this shit.
As far as the food went, it was your basic Mel's Diner type food. Nothing too special. They may have been open for dinner, but if they were, they closed at 6pm.