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.
Know Before You Go
Exit 188-A off I-81, then 1.3 miles on the right. Look for the "Coffee Pot Art" and "Fresh Coffee Now" roadside sign in front of the building or watch for the steam emitting from the spout. Circular driveway with ample parking beside, and in front of the building. Coffee Pot Art Business Hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 to 5:00; Monday and Tuesday by appointment.