COLUMN: Life After The Cup

by Jeff Henson, Contributing Writer

SOUTH CHARLESTON - The Daily Cup, a coffee shop that sat on the corner of D Street and Seventh Avenue in Downtown South Charleston for more than two years, has closed its doors for good.    The owners, Ken and Denise Parks, have opened a new Daily Cup in Downtown Charleston, on the corner of Summers and Virginia streets.

 Last week, a good friend said the new shop is doing very well.

Ken and Denise are kind, generous and have wonderful senses of humor. Denise is the heart and soul of The Cup, a patient and attentive listener and warm, gentle soul. She can also moonwalk. Ken, a longtime building contractor, can talk about complicated things like theology and technology in such a way that just about anyone can learn something from him.

The South Charleston shop evolved into a meeting place for a very curious blend of regular customers.

Jeff, a CPA whose office is a mere three-minute walk from the shop, often shared witty stories and spoke with authority on the subjects of music and movies. A proud graduate of The Ohio State University, he was quiet following the firing of head coach Jim Tressel, but jubiliant when the university hired former Florida coach Urban Myer.

Jerry, the longtime owner of a downtown music store, routinely carried with him both Charleston newspapers and The Wall Street Journal, from which he collected compelling stories he shared with great insight.

And there was Tim and Mike.

Tim, a physical therapist, knew a lot about 897 things. Mike served as the ambassador of goodwill, speaking with new customers as if they'd been in the same high school graduation class. What a gift.

But the shop is closed, the space vacant. As I walk downtown to take care of business at the bank, or shop, I always look up to the corner of D and Seventh and feel a rush of the blues.

 Because I use the bus, I haven't visited the new Cup yet. I plan to, real soon.

 I miss Ken and Denise. They became good friends.

 And they make a really good cup of coffee.

If you stop by their coffee house, tell them I said "Hey."

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