Interview: Bruce Sorgman

How long have you been living in Charleston, and why did you decide to settle in this city?

I was born and raised in Charleston (the Fort Hill area)… attended George Washington High, then Miami Dade Community College in Florida. I spent my early professional years in Chicago.

I came back to Charleston in mid 70’s and have been here ever since. Reason being, it’s a great place to raise kids… low crime rate, good schools… and good quality health care is available.

Mostly though, I believe the lifestyle is a slower pace and a little more traditional. Not as hectic as the bigger cities.

How do you find the general vibe of Charleston?

Small town-big city mix. Laid-back atmosphere in general. All conveniences of city, yet country life is just minutes away! People are generally friendly and helpful.

Which season is Charleston at its best?

Personally I love Fall/Autumn. All of the leaves changing color on the trees is awesome. Love the cooler Fall temperatures also. As the trees start to bare, you can catch glimpses of the cityscape from many locations.

What do you think is Charleston’s biggest attraction?

The ‘blend’ of it all… from the beauty of the hills and valley with the Kanawha River separating the north and south sides… the many wonderful restaurants, the public parks and the friendly people. Also, you can go where you need to without a long, boring commute.

How would you describe Charleston to someone who hasn’t been here before?

“Country life in an urban setting”. Beautiful hills. Friendly people.

What are your top 5 dining places in Charleston?

That’s an easy one for me.

My all time favorite food is found at Leonoro’s Spaghetti House on Washington St.E. Their unique tasting spaghetti and meatballs is the best I’ve had anywhere in the U.S.

My wife and I also enjoy Cozumel Mexican Restaurant, Fresh Seafood Market, China Gourmet off Corridor ‘G’ and Murads sandwiches in the Kanawha City section of Charleston.

What are Charleston’s attractions that every tourists must visit?

Of course some of these are seasonal, but the Arts and Crafts Fair is a short ride from here.

In December, the St. Albans holiday boat parade… A walk through the state Capitol building (open to the public), The New River Gorge Bridge is a short pleasant drive from Charleston and one of my faves- watching the sun rise over these hills in the morning, It’s a beautiful site!

What are the absolute must-try’s for every visitor in Charleston?

I hate to repeat myself, but you force me to. Leonoro’s Spaghetti House is nothing fancy, but their spaghetti and meatballs is just absolutely’ fantastic! It’s an old family recipe passed down through generations… and the taste is just almost beyond description. You have to try it!

Also, a walk along the Kanawha Boulevard above the river is an enchantment and a hike/walk in the hills can prove breathtaking.

A drive on Louden Heights road is always delightful for out-of towners too.

What are the cheap thrills that you can enjoy in Charleston?

Plenty of places to have a picnic, take a hike or ride a bike through a public park… West Virginia Power ballgames, camping, cookouts, the Cultural Center, Symphony Night on the river bank… So many things!

Bruce SorgmanBruce Sorgman grew up in Charleston and attended George Washington High School, then Miami-Dade Community College in Miami FL. He spent is early professional years in Chicago, returning back home to Charleston where he’s lived ever since.