A Gathering Place
By Anne Hunter
Walk in and inhale—you are in for a treat. This year, VIE hosted its second Digital Graffiti pre-party adjacent to Fonville Press in Alys Beach, a space locals and tourists have grown to love. This iconic little coffeehouse, named for Seagrove literary legend John Fonville, is a confluence of cool spaces that was thoughtfully designed by Khoury & Vogt Architects in 2005. Fonville features two opposing courtyards, one perfect for watching the sunrise and the other a magical venue for viewing the 30-A sunset. The courtyards border an intimate interior café that does triple-duty as a Euro-style bookstore, a coffeehouse, and a wine bar. In the style of a Mediterranean terrace, the sunset courtyard sits snugly between walls and piers that form a hypostyle patio with a trellis canopy of wood purlins and a cane awning to filter the Florida sun. Built-in banquettes line the court and reverberate with the soothing sounds of wall fountains flanking the west entrance of the café. Fonville Press is decidedly a cool place to gather, and the stellar architecture doesn’t distract the baristas from making memorable coffee. Get your java fix with fresh brews and espresso drinks sourced from the area’s top-notch roaster, Amavida.
Enter on the east side and pass through the beautiful piers with cast bronze letters inviting patrons to Read (to) Live. Bring a book, but leave enough time to fan through Fonville’s architectural coffee-table book and magazine collection, join in for the Après Beach parties that buzz throughout summer, and be sure to take a walk up and around Fonville Hill.
— V —