Books or coffee? Coffee or books? Sometimes it is difficult to pick one first, and that may be the key to success for Duck’s Cottage. There is something therapeutic about casually sipping a latte or espresso with an open book in hand while the world rushes by.
Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books is located in the Waterfront Shops in Duck. It’s located at the southern end of the shops and it’s easy to find because it looks like a rustic cottage. The feeling inside is warm, relaxing and welcoming.
The building itself has an interesting history. It’s one of the few remaining structures in the village that predate the modern building boom. From 1921 to the 1940s it was a hunt club called Powder Ridge Gun Club. It has retained the feeling of a rustic, restful place, but now with several tables indoors and out, it creates an old-style atmosphere when browsing was encouraged and conversation was prized.
A few things to note about Duck’s Cottage, the coffee is freshly brewed and simply delicious, the espresso drinks are wonderful and we dare you to walk out without a pastry.
The book selection is not huge because there’s simply no room for it, but the book titles you find are very well thought out. The selection of books from local authors is where Duck’s Cottage really shines. This is the place to go for children’s books by Suzanne Tate or the wonderfully readable Harrison Weaver mysteries that Joseph Terrell sets on the scenic Outer Banks. These are two Outer Banks authors that are almost always in stock. The store does carry some t-shirts and souvenir items, like coffee mugs.
The same folks who own Duck’s Cottage also own Downtown Books in Manteo, which used to be Manteo Booksellers. The owners took on the iconic Manteo store in 2012, and although they have made some changes, the most important feature of the original location remains: a great selection of titles.
Duck’s Cottage and Downtown Books have very different feels, although both have a friendly, informal vibe about them. From the moment a customer, or browser, walks though the door of the Manteo store, it is apparent there’s no place to put an espresso machine. So it doesn’t have the same quiet ambiance of a coffee shop read, but there are comfortable overstuffed chairs and smiling staff at the counter.
One of the more interesting programs the folks at Downtown Books have started is a partnership with the Dare County Arts Council called Books on the Banks, which brings nationally published authors to discuss their craft.
Also, be sure to check out the Dare County Arts Council, which is almost next door to the Dare County Courthouse.