22 April 2012

Rising from the Ashes

It's been nearly two years now since I last posted here. I've spent much of that time mourning the loss of Webster's. It would be the second of my favorite local coffee shops that have fallen prey to hard times.

But good things are hard to kill, especially when they are vital parts of a community that desperately needs them. I doubt we'll see the Someday again because Somerville and Cambridge have so many other great local shops. But State College? State College is impoverished without a space that functions the way Webster's did.

Did I say "did"? I mean does.

Hard work, connections, and dedication have paid off and Webster's is back, bigger and better than ever. The store opened a week ago yesterday, and already it feels like a lived space. The reopening was a huge success; in spite of the shop's new location -- only a block away from its old location, but just outside the grand flow of foot traffic -- business is steady and growing. There are faces familiar and new, and the astonished gasps, the pleased murmurs as people discover or rediscover Webster's are more than comforting: they are a kind of homecoming.

A good coffee shop is more than just a coffee shop. And the convergence of people and good will in this last week proves that Webster's is far more than a bookstore/cafe. It's a community.

Welcome back, Webster's.

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