No, it’s not a cult. The Secret Sandwich Society is a small, gourmet sandwich shop tucked away from the main drag in downtown Fayetteville, W.Va. Open since 2010, this small gem didn’t stay much of a secret for long; the SSS is quickly becoming the place to be for a low-key atmosphere and a high-quality meal. From the Polk, which is stacked high with roasted chicken, bacon jam (that’s right), homemade aioli and LTO, to the Fillmore, a fried eggplant vegetarian delight, the SSS specializes in serious sandwiches that are seriously good (and named after presidents).
But did you ever wonder what goes into the making of that meatloaf McKinley sandwich? Bacon jam aside, there’s something else special about the Society, and it has to do with the guys on the line.
“We like working here because we’re surrounded by like-minded people,” says SSS staff Josh Williamson, “and we like to eat sandwiches.”
When Williamson isn’t flipping burgers at the shop, you can find him 20 minutes down the road at one of the many local climbing crags in the New River Gorge.
“The staff is fantastic here and it’s really cool that, at the end of the day, they all like to get outside and go do something,” says new SSS owner Lewis Rhinehart. “We cater to the climbers especially. We have guidebooks to look at and climbing magazine subscriptions. Plus climbers come here looking for beta all the time because they know our guys in the back live in the area and know the rocks really well.”
An avid mountain biker himself, Rhinehart came to Fayetteville from South Central, Pa., for the multitude of outdoor recreational opportunities.
“Fayetteville’s an awesome whitewater, climbing, mountain biking, and eating destination,” he says, “and it’s attracting cool and new people all the time.”
Those cool and new people are starting to settle in Fayetteville, and out of the 15 staff members at the SSS, only three are from the town originally; the rest are skateboarders, climbers, paddlers, bikers, and fly fishermen who ended up in West Virginia for the area’s adventure scene. From Colorado to Ohio, and even as far away as Russia, the SSS staff brings years of outdoor experience to your plates, free of charge.
But shhh. It’s a secret.