The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

How a small-town cafe maintains its charm as tourists roll in


Wendy Bayes is owner of Cathedral Cafe in Fayetteville, West Virginia. She opened the cafe in 2000 after moving to Fayetteville to work as a river guide in the New River Gorge. Her daughter, Cassidy Bayes, now manages the cafe. In 2021, the New River Gorge was designated the United States’ newest national park.
I came to Fayetteville for the first time in 1992, and I trained to be a raft guide and did that for eight seasons. I was pregnant with Cassidy, and my husband and I knew that if we were going to be at a rafting company, you would find yourself—especially back then, because cell phones and social media definitely weren’t a thing—a little disconnected. We decided that if our kids were going to school here and being raised here, we wanted to be more connected to the community,” Bayes said.
Read more: