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Sometimes the best things live in your memory.

The best thing I miss about Charleston is Capitol Roasters.

I’ve lived in the area for almost 19 years. I’ve resided here longer than anywhere else I’ve ever lived, including the town where I grew up. That’s time enough to build a history and to remember things lost.

Coming to Charleston from rural West Virginia/Virginia was a big moment for me. The Walmart here sold avocados. I could pick up a rock station without having to put aluminum foil on a radio antenna. And Charleston had a Dominos, a Little Caesars, a Pizza Hut and a Papa John’s.

I felt like I had arrived.

Charleston also had a real live coffee shop — Capitol Roasters, located on Summers Street in the space that’s occupied by Black Sheep Burritos and Brews.

Until Capitol Roasters, if I wanted a fancy, frothy coffee drink, I had to stop at a gas station.

I found Capitol Roasters my first week in town. It was in close proximity to the Kanawha County Public Library and the Peanut Shoppe. With my lousy sense of direction, traveling beyond Capitol Street was risky, at best.

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I became something of a regular, stopping in at least once a week, usually on my trip back from the library.

After trying most of the espresso drinks on the menu, I settled back into black coffee. I soon began buying coffee by the pound to take home.

Somehow, having coffee at a local coffee shop made me feel part of the city. And going to this one local place over and over helped me move beyond my usual routine of familiar restaurant chains and stores.

For about eight years, this was the place where I met friends and news sources for coffee. It was home turf for me, a welcoming and congenial space. Once, I met a pastor at Capitol Roasters and tried to make the case I wasn’t that bad of a guy. He clearly had his doubts.

I miss Capitol Roasters almost on a daily basis. I miss the smell of coffee that permeated everything. I miss my Viennese roasted Mexican Organic beans, which were so dark they looked as if they’d been dipped in motor oil.

I miss the noisy, instrumental jazz they sometimes played so loudly that you had to almost shout to be heard by the person sitting across the table from you. I miss the carrot cake I never tried, though always thought about getting whenever I had a few extra bucks.

Capitol Roasters closed almost 10 years ago and I still drink a lot of coffee. Charleston has plenty of coffee options and they’re great, but they’re not Capitol Roasters.

Bill Lynch covers entertainment. He can be reached at 304-348-5195 or Follow

@lostHwys on Twitter. and

@billiscap on Instagram.

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