A Fairytale Bookstore in Boston

In a digital world where everything we could possibly need is obtained with an impersonal click of a button, Beacon Hill Books & Cafe, opened last month in Boston, is an inspiration and a treasure.  Founder Melissa Fetter saw a need for a bookstore in one of the country’s most historic literary neighborhoods, and over the course of two years brought to life her vision for a much needed bookstore in the storied Beacon Hill neighborhood.

Located in a five-story, Greek Revival 1840s brick townhouse, the building was renovated from the ground up under the careful direction of Pauli & Uribe Architects. Every surface was beautifully restored to take the building back to its former glory with the addition of modern amenities such as an elevator and state of the art, restaurant grade kitchens and baths.  The interior of the bookstore and cafe was artfully designed by Dallas-based Cathy Kincaid Interiors. Cathy brought her keen eye for detail and elegant charm to the project along with a partnership with the iconic American fabric and wallcovering company, Sister Parish Design. All custom fabrics and wallcoverings throughout the store and cafe are exclusively from the Sister Parish Design collection.

The bookstore houses over 10,000 titles drawn from a broad range of genres. The children’s books are located in a magical space that is out of a storybook, complete with a model train that weaves in and out of the rooms above the bookshelves. Designer Lauren Fornes took the following video of her precious daughter watching the train with enchantment…

The cozy cafe is bursting with every cookbook one could possibly wish to purchase. The restaurant cafe is led by Chef Colleen Suhanosky who began her career at the Culinary Institute of America where she learned the fundamentals of preparing food at the highest standard.  The cafe offers breakfast, lunch, formal afternoon tea and dinner.

Inspired by the logo of Beacon Hill Books & Cafe, a squirrel sitting on a stack of books, award winning author, Sarah S. Brannen, wrote and illustrated a delightful children’s picture book about a book-loving squirrel, called Paige of Beacon Hill. Newbery Honor-winning and New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Brian Lies created the squirrel’s cupboard, which visitors to the store can enjoy closeup. Paige has quickly become the store mascot; expect to see her furry tail amidst the books when you have a chance to visit Beacon Hill Books & Cafe.

“My husband and I landed in Boston in 2019 in the midst of a very cold winter and settled into a cozy townhouse on Beacon Hill. After the last box was unpacked in our empty nest, I looked around and thought it was time to find a meaningful project to fill my new life in Boston. It struck me as odd that Beacon Hill no longer had a bookstore, the last had closed 25 years earlier. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed clear I was meant to start a bookstore on Beacon Hill. I had a very specific image in my mind of the idyllic store, nestled in a townhouse on the main shopping street with a fabulous cafe. I envisioned the space that leaned heavily into a high standard of design, one that offered an inspiring, residential-like setting in which to meander and find the perfect book. Fortunately, the ideal building at 71 Charles Street became available for purchase and I embarked on the complete renovation just as the pandemic was looming on the horizon.” – Melissa Fetter

If you aren’t traveling to Boston anytime soon, a tour is below with photography by Sarah Winchester.

Have you ever seen such a charming bookstore? This is the stuff dreams are made of! To learn more, please visit Beacon Hill Books & Cafe and follow @beaconhillbooksandcafe on Instagram.


  1. Oh Andrea! Thank you for this post! I am desperate to go to this store which I just heard about! There must be a line to get in. It is absolute total perfection! If, when I die, I am blessed to go heaven, I am sure it will look just like this bookstore! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  2. Absolutely charming and inspirational to all readers from young to a certain age! A space deserving of great success. Worth a trip to Boston to experience in person.

  3. What an absolute delight! I can’t wait to visit Boston again and will happily spend at least half a day in this charming shop! Thank you for sharing, Andrea!

  4. Oh, Andrea, such gorgeous pics! I am so lucky. I live only a 15 minute walk away, in Back Bay. And yes, I was in the bookstore about 17 days ago. It was a Tuesday afternoon and no line and while there were other visitors, it wasn’t crowded. I did take some photos but, haven’t gotten to writing a post yet. Yours is perfect and the images totally capture the charm of this enchanting store!

  5. I am a New England Girl to the core!!! I can’t wait to go to this perfect store in my beloved Boston. Absolutely, beautiful and could and will spend hours there.

  6. I was just in Boston last month and would have loved to visit this charming bookstore!
    Sincerely wishing them fabulous success!

  7. What a wonderful place — so full of magic and adventure — if I ever get back to Boston, I am heading right there to Beacon Hill Books — will just check into my hotel room first!

  8. A divine bookstore, probably the most elegant I’ve ever seen. So happy you can help spread the word about such a special place. I adore everything about it. The details are exquisite, and lest we forget, the arrangement of the wonderful merchandise: books!!
    Many thanks for this post.

  9. I visited this past Friday and Saturday. I had to go twice it was so lovely! Every detail is perfection. It really is a dream!


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