At the CW House, we like our coffee. A lot.
That’s why we were so excited to learn that the newest addition to DoG Street–the first complete restoration* of a building in more than 50 years–is none other than R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse! We attended the Grand Opening on November 20th and found that a huge crowd had already gathered to witness this historic event (pun intended!). A scene of Williamsburg citizens’ furious reactions to the enactment of the Stamp Act precluded speeches by Williamsburg mayor Jeanne Zeidler, as well as Forrest Mars of the Mars candy company (who, along with his wife, Deborah, was the primary donor for the reconstruction of the coffeehouse).
The coffeehouse was then opened up to the public, and we were able to get a peek inside! Fun fact: not only was Richard Charlton the proprietor of the coffeehouse; he was also a wigmaker who may have mended his patrons’ wigs while they dined downstairs! Another fun fact: patrons included George Washington and Thomas Jefferson!
We were also shown the kitchen, located in the basement of the building, where re-enactors demonstrated how the coffee and hot chocolate were made. Apparently, coffee in the 1700s could have included fish heads and egg shells…luckily, the samples of coffee that we received didn’t include those delicious tidbits.
We held our “De-Stress in CW” program the day after–thank you so much to all of you who came to enjoy treats and/or come on the tour of the Coffeehouse with us! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to join us, make sure to visit the Charlton Coffeehouse, located at the end of DoG Street right next to the Capitol! Don’t forget, any student can get in for free with his/her W&M ID!
Learn about the process of reconstructing R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse. Read more information on the completed coffeehouse!
-Joy Thomas & Katherine Goulde
PS: The William Randolph Lodging (aka the CW House) now has a Facebook page! Friend us!
*This means that everything–from the shingles in the roof to the thousands of nails that went into the building–was created by the craftsmen of Williamsburg!