Webster’s Finds Sweet New Location

Webster's Returns to DowntownSince July 30, Allen St. has been lacking its underground appeal. There haven’t been benches full of smokers dressed in the latest European apparel. The smell of fresh brewed caffeine has been seemingly vacant when rounding the corner off of College Ave. The windows have been missing busy students, cycling through used books or cramming for upcoming exams.

What is gone in the downtown scene is the quaint coffee shop, Webster’s Bookstore Cafe–an integral part of the downtown State College artsy allure, fallen victim to the devastating effects of a troubled economy.

However, starting Monday, that will all change. The same chic bookstore will be re-opening its doors in a “sweet” new location. Webster’s returns in a combined business efforts with back alley dessert shop, Sugar On Top, of Beaver Ave. You head it right, that means the legendary hot spot for culture and a great cup of Joe is back in operation.

It was only a little over three months ago when Elaine Meder-Wilgus, owner of Webster’s, received a daunting message from the landlord of her 128 S. Allen street cafe. Due to piling up rent debt, Elaine was informed that her lease was being terminated. This led to the closing of Webster’s and an 11-year tradition.

Despite the eviction, Webster’s has been operating from two other locations. One was a cafe on Aron Dr. that mimicked the cozy environment of the downtown Webster’s, but lacked in the same sophisticated charm.The second was at the Fraser St. Plaza, where the used books and vinyls were sold. Revenue was not the only thing that suffered after the move. The cosmopolitan atmosphere and the legendary drinks were lost in the ashes of the Allen St. storefront.

Now the House Blends are Dark Roasts are back on the burner. Webster’s full line of espresso drinks and teas will be sold next to the couture cupcakes of Sugar On Top on 121 1/2 E. Beaver, underneath the Rita’s on Humes Alley. On Monday you will once again be able to soak up the free wi-fi while enjoying a piping cup of fair trade coffee in an ambient setting. Stop by and enjoy the cultural experience that the downtown has been missing.

The journey of this persistent bookstore cafe is thrilling enough to be placed on the shelves next to classic fiction novels that Webster’s proudly brandishes. Only patrons support can ensure that this tale has a happy ending and that State College retains an iconic landmark.

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