Coffee fans lamenting the loss of Capitol Roasters at the Capitol Market got an early Christmas present this season when Fayetteville native Joe Dangerfield opened his Musical Grounds European Coffee House in the space left empty when the Roasters vacated in early 2013.
A few days before Black Friday, the Nicholas County native was still putting in specialized coffee equipment.
"We're down to the wire," he said confidently. "But I think we'll be fine."
The shop at the Capitol Market is Dangerfield's second location or "Opus Two." The 36-year-old opened his first Musical Grounds coffee house in Fayetteville earlier this year. It's sort of a side project for the Fulbright scholar and composer.
"I just performed at Carnegie Hall in New York with my ensemble a couple of weeks ago," he said. "It's a nine-piece ensemble. They're called Ensemble: peripherie."
Over the years, state and Charleston officials, in particular, have talked a lot about wanting to attract young, creative people to West Virginia. The state has long hoped to reverse the brain drain of young people leaving, and that those young natives with skills and new ideas would return.
Dangerfield would seem like the poster child for that hope.
Born and raised in Fayetteville, Dangerfield studied music at Marshall, where he met his wife. Ami. They graduated and he earned his master's degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio before getting his doctorate from Ohio University.
Dangerfield has worked internationally, recorded and won numerous awards, including the Aaron Copland Award in 2010.
Before he returned to Fayetteville, he was the assistant professor of music composition and theory and director of orchestral activities at Coe College in Iowa.
Dangerfield came back home because of family. The couple has two children and wanted to raise them near their families, but it hasn't been easy. He said the educational system is less than what he hoped it would be.
"It's been difficult," he acknowledged. "But worth it."
His coffee houses, while not his primary occupation, are a passion.
"The idea is pretty simple," he said. "West Virginia is a great state and it deserves great coffee."
Musical Grounds serves what is referred to as third wave coffee.
"Essentially, the approach to the coffee is more like a chemist than a cook," Dangerfield said. "We don't use overly dark roasts."
A lot of coffee drinkers are used to the brews they get at chain coffee stores like Starbucks, which can be bitter. Dangerfield said the way Musical Grounds brews coffee, it's meant to keep the flavor, but leave out the bitter.
Some who doctor their java with milk and sugar, may not need the enhancement to make their drink more palatable, he believes.