Webster’s Bookstore Café in State College, Pennsylvania, is technically multiple businesses in one. In addition to its large inventory of mostly used books (with select new and local titles) and the café’s food and beverage menu, the large space is also home to Stax of Trax records and Tiger’s Eye Vintage. That means shoppers can grab a book, a coffee, some classic vinyl, and a vintage outfit all in one place.
Although there are ramped and street-level entrances nearby, I entered Webster’s by walking down a flight of stairs that immediately spilled me into the vast collection of books. Boasting more than 80,000 titles, the shop’s inventory is displayed on a series of tall shelves, grouped alphabetically by genre, with plenty of table seating scattered about to sit and peruse your selections.
The records are placed in the center of the space and, like the book inventory, is large and impressive.
The vintage boutique section offers a variety of clothes, accessories, artwork, and other items. And the café serves up fair-trade, organic coffees and vegan and gluten-free menu items.
The store was founded in 1999 by Elaine Meder-Wilgus with the vision of creating a space that combines all her passions: books, coffee, food, performance and people. The colorful décor and ambiance create a cool, creative vibe that would certainly lure me in if I were a local, and the impressive and ever-changing selection of books undoubtedly keeps customers coming back.
Webster’s Bookstore & Café is located at 133 E. Beaver Avenue, State College, Pennsylvania. Open Monday through Saturday.