Celebrating 20 years at its current location, Capitol Market has grown from a modest farmers’ market to a vibrant indoor-outdoor retail, dining and social hub open year ‘round. But to fully appreciate what it has become today, you have to take a look at its storied past.
In the late 1800s, the Kanawha and Michigan Railroad built a railyard on Smith Street that bustled with commerce important to the region’s growth before eventually falling into disrepair in the late 1900s.
That’s when a new vision for the old depot was born. A vision that reimagined it as a new kind of hub for the modern era – a tourist attraction and retail complex that would draw thousands of visitors and host a variety of community events throughout the year.
That was 1997 and now – more than 100 years after the railyard’s original construction – Capitol Market has blossomed into a premier shopping destination featuring an eclectic mix of indoor and outdoor shops offering fresh meat, fish, produce, coffee, wine, beer, cheese, chocolates, a variety of West Virginia-made products and Soho’s, one of the city’s most popular restaurants.
Spend just a few minutes here and you’ll discover why Capitol Market has become such a vital anchor to our vibrant downtown. It’s like the city’s Main Street – a popular gathering place and meeting space where we greet friends and take out-of-town guests to show off Charleston’s best.
Traditions at the market are as varied as the community it serves. Saturday morning coffee, daily business lunches, after-work shopping, weekend excursions with the kids, cooking classes and other fun events are all a part of the Capitol Market experience. So are Christmas tree and pumpkin picking, spring garden planning and summer picnic shopping.
And since our community supports the market, we return the favor by helping raise thousands of dollars for dozens of charitable and civic organizations.