Don’t be alarmed if you see clouds of steam billowing from an oddly shaped structure in Lexington, Virginia. It’s all part of the appeal of a building dubbed “The Coffee Pot.”
The metal-clad, round building with an attached spout and handle was constructed in 1959 by Kenneth Wills. Known as “The Coffee Pot” or, among the Wills family, “The Teapot,” it served as a restaurant for many years.
Initially a concrete walkway, painted red to suggest a hot burner on a stove, encircled the coffee pot-shaped building. According to some sources, original plans for the quirky building included a globe on top that lit up as if it were percolating.
Ownership of the building changed hands within the Wills family after the restaurant closed, and a beer and wine bar ran for several years, followed by a gas station. Sources reported that the bar experience at the Coffee Pot included access to the private upstairs rooms for special patrons. A vacation canoe rental, then later a fresh fish market, filled the space after the bar closed.
In late 2016, after a period of on-and-off residential occupancy, artist Mark Breithaupt purchased the building and began developing the property. Breithaupt now uses it as a studio and gallery for stone, steel, and mixed media sculptural works and gifts.
Update June 2018: In May of 2018, and the art gallery was packing up and moving.