Interview: Larry Groce

How long have you been living in Charleston, and why did you decide to settle in this city?
I’ve lived here for 13 years and lived in WV for 37 years. I moved to Charleston to be closer to Mountain Stage which I have worked with since 1983.

How do you find the general vibe of Charleston?
I like the feel of the town and the pace of living here.

Which season is Charleston at its best?
Probably summer because of all the festivals.

What do you think is Charleston’s biggest attraction?
The character of the people, the human scale, affordability and style of life, quality and accessibility of cultural life and the convenience are all attractive to me.

How would you describe Charleston to someone who hasn’t been here before?
A big town with some larger city benefits but little of the larger city hassle.

What are your top 5 dining places in Charleston?
Bluegrass Kitchen, Sushi Atlantic, Sitar of India, Rio Grande, Soho’s, Bridge Road Bistro, Lola’s, The Grill, Cilantros, The Sahara, Fazio’s, Tidewater…sorry, I can’t stop at five

What are Charleston’s attractions that every tourist must visit?
State Capitol, Mountain Stage, Clay Center, State Museum, Taylor Books, downtown art galleries, West Virginia Symphony performance

What are the absolute must-try’s for every visitor in Charleston?
Ellen’s Ice Cream, Peanut Shop

What are the cheap thrills that you can enjoy in Charleston?
Compared to most other places, almost everything is cheap in Charleston

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I once was a singer and songwriter, but for the past 25 years I have been host and artistic director of Mountain Stage, WV Public Radio’s national live music radio program on NPR. For the past five years I’ve also been executive director of FestivALL Charleston. I’m happily married with two wonderful children and some great friends. I am grateful to work with people who I respect and like.