Cafe, bookstore combo now open in Noble Hall

Two of the MadStone Cafe and Catching Lights Books owners, Chris Wilcox (center) and Jeanette Evans (right), converse with a customer.

All the commercial space on the ground floor of Noble Hall, Western Carolina University’s new mixed-use facility on Centennnial Drive, is now fully operational after a low-key “soft opening” was held for MadStone Cafe and Catching Light Books, a combination eatery and bookstore, on March 28.

Two of the owners, Suzanne Stone and Jeanette Evans, were among the business operators renting building space on WCU’s old commercial strip on Centennial Drive when it was heavily damaged by fire in November 2013. Both owned small eateries, with Stone operating Rolling Stone Burrito and Evans offering baked goods and other items from her Mad Batter Bakery and Cafe. Both lost their businesses to the fire and are now joining WCU alumnus Chris Wilcox, owner of City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, in the new venture.