The coffeehouse chairs

Elizabeth Donald
6 min readJun 4, 2022

There’s a little coffeehouse in Our Town that has been intermittently responsible for much of my writing career.

It’s been in business forever, even before we moved here. It’s on Our Town’s little Main Street, across from the historic old theater and a few blocks away from the Route 66 auto shop and the Carnegie library and town bandstand. Did I mention that I live in Mayberry with more social awareness?

Sacred Grounds* has amazing coffee. It also specialized in an all-vegetarian menu that hardly ever changed, which meant I would frequently grab a lunch there of some kind of chickpea-hummus wrap and then my bloodstream would cry out for meat, because I would last about half a day as a vegetarian and perhaps 15 minutes as a vegan. I’m sorry, veggies of the world, but I’m a meatasaurus.

Still, you could get a bottomless cup of coffee for three bucks, a scone the size of your hand, and there’s a giant wall featuring an ever-changing display of artwork from local artists. Sometimes it was political, sometimes it was seasonal, usually it was abstract and sometimes it was incomprehensible, but whenever the art changed at Sacred, it was the talk of Main Street.

If this is all starting to sound like an episode of Gilmore Girls, you’re not wrong. There are reasons I am bizarrely obsessed with that show this spring.

The coffeehouse, however, was one of my favorite spots for writing, whether fiction or nonfiction. As a remote reporter, it was a fantastic spot for writing up city council or county board meetings or the latest trial, as it was a block away from both City Hall and the county courthouse.

Then on Friday nights, my son would go to the local YMCA roller rink for teen skate night, and I would drop him off with some cash for incredibly bad pizza, and I would go to the coffeehouse for three hours of uninterrupted fiction-writing time. Most of Setting Suns was written there, as well as Yellow Roses, A More Perfect Union and The Cold Ones. It was the best place ever for a single mom trying to crank out some fiction. I think I even mentioned the good folks of Sacred Grounds in the acknowledgements of Setting Suns.

That isn’t to say it’s the easiest place to write. There are only two electrical outlets in the entire place: both of them behind the tables up front by the big windows facing Main Street. If you didn’t manage to snag one of those two tables, you were out of luck for plugging in your laptop…

Elizabeth Donald

Journalist for more than 25 years, freelance writer, editor, photographer, and fiction author. Subscribe at or visit