One Tank Trip: Cathedral Cafe

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY)- Cathedral Cafe in Fayetteville has been a Fayette County staple for almost 24 years. The church itself has been in the center of Fayetteville for almost 120 years, but in 1997, it was converted into the cafe.

“When we started as a cafe, there were originally books all along the outside walls. There were three businesses that came together,” explained Wendy Bayes, Owner of Cathedral Cafe. “One was the Trillium crafts, and they had all West Virginia artists. Then there was a restaurant, and then there were the people with the bookstore. So, three businesses came together, and they kind of had a collaboration. They all agreed on the color of the walls and what they should be called. One of them did the custom tile work on top of the bar area, which we kept. So it was it was, it was the coming together of the minds for sure.”

Though in February this year, they had closed down to do what they thought would be minor renovations to the bar area. Which turned a simple 4-week project into a much larger 3-month affair.

“Once we got in there, it was clear that it wasn’t going to be an easy fix. There was a full six inches difference in height from this side of the building to that side of the building. It was as we opened, we were like, well, let’s go a little further out, and we’ll see, you know, where it ends up being level. Right?” said Bayes. “That ended up being the outside walls. So we had to strip it down all of the joists, all of the cinder blocks, and everything that was under there. We have to take it down to the bare, bare soil. Because all of the water from the parking lot went under my building, which is why it all rotted. So it was a disaster.”

While they upgraded some things to modern times, they made sure to keep the charm the community loves.

“We tried, when we brought everything back, that we kept a great balance of the things that were important that people loved about the cafe,” said Bayes. “Such as the custom bar that we had, the stained glass windows, and the bookcases. And I hope that we’ve struck a good balance between the history and, bringing it up to, you know, up to code and up to the current, you know, up to the current century, let’s call it, as far as esthetics, you know, goes.

They hope to get historic grants to help renovate their stained glass windows in the future.

From coffee to alcohol and pancakes to paninis, they have served a variety of food and drinks to the community throughout the years, but there’s more to it, which brings people back every day.

“I think that all of the kids coming here after school, this is really a place where people come together. We’ve had people stop here on their way home from the hospital to show me their babies, you know. It’s very community-based, and I love it,” said Bayes.

Inside, you can also find tidbits of local history, art, music, and images to honor those community members who have since left us. Cathedral Cafe is excited and ready to start serving the community again.

So you just want a nice cup of joe and a good meal. This staple business in Fayetteville is reopening its doors after a few months of much-needed renovations.

Luckily for you, it only takes one tank of gas to get here, and we can cheers to that.

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