Counter culture in Culpeper: The shops of Davis Street

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Counter culture in Culpeper: The shops of Davis Street



Culpeper was established in 1759 and was known as Fairfax and Culpeper Court House before a new charter gave it the final name of Culpeper in December 1870. Culpeper has seen 18th century revolution with the Culpeper Minutemen, a gold rush, and plenty of Civil War action with a railroad at stake. In fact, the town changed hands 78 times during the war.

As you peruse the primary streets of the historic district, notice the large, Italianate building on the northwest corner of Davis and Main Streets. It was the boyhood home of A.P. Hill, the Confederate Army’s youngest Major General and battle-saver for Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain. The opposite corner is home to Frost Café, the second lunch counter to occupy the space. The first was Gayheart Drug Store and Luncheonette, which operated from 1928 to 2002. The ceiling, floor, lunch counter, and soda fountain are all original.

Another Davis and Main anchor is Pepperberries, occupying two storefronts and calling all the ladies in to check out the pretties. Upon entering, just stand and look around for a moment. The space is so light and airy, but there’s plenty of sparkle and shine for the Southern girl in your life. While speaking of Pepperberries, you might be interested to know that a March 1888 fire destroyed three buildings in that same block. Only a month later the Town Council added to the building code, stating structures must have brick or stone exteriors and slate or metal roofs.


Window shopping simply won’t do in Culpeper. The treasures hidden within deserve more than your peripheral acknowledgement. At Poppy + Chalk you’ll find fantastic vintage and reclaimed furniture and décor finished in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® or Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.

If you are the proud parent of a fur baby, direct your attention to Reigning Cats & Dogs. It’s your destination for everything a precious pup or clever kitty could ever want or need.

Le Monkey House has all of the pop culture you can stand with fun t-shirts, bags, posters, and more. Find music-inspired goods, products that give a nod to TV and movie quotes, and even baby swag.

Outfit your home with furniture, decor, and all the special accoutrements with one stop at Homeconomics. Lamps, clocks, couches, vases, kitchen linens and gadgets ... this and more make shopping for yourself or someone else a breeze.


If you have a soft spot for baked goods, Knakal’s Bakery is a staple in Culpeper for delicious breads, pastries and cakes. Since 1935, Knakal’s has thoughtfully prepared a wide variety of savory breads as well as desserts such as donuts, eclairs, tarts and cookies, all baked with love and the highest quality ingredients.

We love cake, and Seriously Sweet is a brand new cupcake shop on Davis Street. Heavenly, beautiful cupcakes in a variety of flavors are available daily, as well as for pre-order for special occasions. If you'd rather have brownies, fudge, or candy, they have those, too.


Vinosity is Culpeper’s go-to for learning what’s new in wine, craft beer, and cigars. A carefully curated selection of vino from around the world is available to you, and a healthy portion of it is $15.99 or less. The craft beer movement in Virginia is booming, and Vinosity is the place to secure a new release and build your own six-pack. Other domestics and international brews are available as well. Toke a stogie once in a while? Vinosity has premium handmade imports to choose from.

Speaking of imports, Taste is all about “fresh trumps everything” with vinegar, oil, and spices from around the world. They have 40 “taps” for you to sample and taste for yourself. Once you make your selection, a bottle is filled from the very same tank to ensure that what you tasted is what you take home.

Also importing fine goods is Frenchman’s Corner, distributor of Neuhaus Chocolates and boasting nearly the entire line. Their new macarons out this spring and they’re sure to be delicious!

Looking for something to spice up your décor? The Cameleer probably has just the thing within their collection of Aboriginal pieces, though if you’re seeking something Zimbabwean, you might find that there, too. The selection is ever evolving to introduce new products.


Raven’s Nest Coffee House is a coffee lover’s dream with fresh, locally roasted coffee and other libations. Besides drinks, Raven’s Nest also serves savory and sweet food to satisfy healthy or indulgent cravings.

Known as Downtown Culpeper’s community living room, Raven’s Nest also has plenty of space for a working session or meeting space. And if you need a pick-me-up in the afternoon or want to meet a friend over drinks, an eclectic variety of beers, ciders and other spirits are also served in the cozy space.

While we’re talking good stuff, you have to check out Green Roost, a store dedicated to everything earth-friendly. EVERYTHING. You’ll find charity-driven products, recycled and upcycled items, and things that are simply kind to the world we live in.

What do you love most about Culpeper? Any awesome find while shopping or piece of history you’ve picked up and care to share? Leave a comment!