Nestled in the New River Gorge region of southern West Virginia, the small town of Fayetteville draws tourists from all over the world looking to experience the outdoor adventure offerings boasted by the area, from rock climbing to hiking to whitewater rafting and more. And amid the downtown district’s eclectic array of boutiques, shops, and restaurants is the popular Cathedral Café, an eatery, juice bar, bookseller, and all-around community hub.
Locals and tourists alike frequent the café, which offers an impressive menu of breakfast, lunch and brunch options, homemade desserts, and freshly brewed coffees, as well as an impressive selection of used books.
Built in 1905, the building that houses the café operated as a church for eighty years, served as a storage facility for more than a decade, then reopened as the café when current owner Wendy Bayes took the helm in 2000.
The beautiful stained glass windows, which reflect colorful light onto the hand-painted tables and hardwood floors of the dining area, are flanked by tall bookshelves stocked full of titles from a variety of genres. Shoppers can find everything from the stories of O. Henry to the novels of the Twilight saga.
And, perhaps in the spirit of the building’s original use, the books serve a larger purpose than simply supplementing food sales. Instead, they are a vessel to help the community. Customers offer a monetary donation for their book selections, with all proceeds used to support local charities.
Cathedral Café is located at 134 S. Court Street, Fayetteville, West Virginia. Open daily.
Learn more about Cathedral Café and the other Mountain State bookshops in Bookstore Explorer: West Virginia, available now.