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Bike shop-coffeehouse hybrids

Across the country bike shop-coffeehouse hybrids are cropping up with the uniting factor of community—creating a space where like-minded people can share their passion for cycling and coffee under one roof. From Oregon to Colorado, we found shops celebrating the best of both worlds.

Heritage Bicycles, Chicago
Heritage owner Mike Salvatore makes a pretty convincing case for the pairing of bicycles and coffee. Both are enjoyed in countries across the globe, transcending culture and socioeconomic status. Both have die-hard fan bases (often with a good amount of crossover), and both cultivate unquantifiable amounts of happiness. Salvatore’s bicycles are hand-welded, hand-painted and assembled to order in Chicago, and his Heritage-brand coffee is custom roasted by Intelligentsia and served drip, pour-over or pulled as espresso. Heritage also sponsors several cycling teams, hosts pop-up events for local businesses and offers summertime movie nights. “We wanted to break free from the mold of the traditional bike shop and open our doors to everyone, not just cyclists,” says Salvatore.

Denver Bicycle Café, Denver
In 2011, childhood friends Peter Roper and Jessica Caouette opened Denver Bicycle Café. Roper, who was working in the environmental center at University of Colorado Boulder, managed many bike-centric projects and wanted to build upon the concept of creating shared community among cyclists. “He knew he wanted to inspire people to ride their bikes more and he was desperate for a great cup of coffee and a Colorado craft beer all under one roof,” says Caouette. “Community is what we’re trying to build here. Everyone keeps saying, ‘Bikes, beer, coffee? That’s what I like!’ Roper and Caouette keep things as local as possible, sourcing coffee from their favorite roasters like Pablo’s Coffee, Sweet Bloom and Novo, and serving it by way of French press, pour-over or espresso.

Velo Cult, Portland, Oregon
True to its name, Velo Cult inspires a passionate following of avid cyclists and daily commuters to its expansive bike gallery and repair shop. And in a town like Portland, it goes without saying that those same folks are equally passionate about coffee and beer. Velo Cult offers locally roasted coffee from Portland’s Water Avenue and a rotating tap list of about a dozen (mostly) local beers. Grab a seat at one of the repurposed bowling lane tables and watch the mechanics go to work on your bent rim while you console yourself with a little caffeinated pick-me-up. A variety of events dot their calendar, including goldsprints (stationary bike races) to live music and even Kickstand Comedy every Wednesday night in their basement theater. “We really wanted to support community events and parties but figured the only way to finance that was though offering coffee, beer, wine and food,” says Velo Cult’s Sky Boyer. “With those offerings we can do events seven nights a week.”

Off The Bridge Coffee, New York City
Opening its doors just this past summer, Off the Bridge Coffee has been a one-man show with owner Qian Hu doing it all. Formerly an owner of Manhattan’s Lower East Side cycling repair spot Dah Shop, Hu went in to business for himself opening two blocks from the Bowery and catering to the commuters who ride by each day, offering repairs, parts and gear. But the key element was the coffee, which Hu orders from nearby Irving Farm Coffee Roasters and serves in the form of cold brew, drip and espresso.

The Bike Rack, Washington D.C.
When Chuck Harney opened his first bike shop in D.C.’s Logan Circle in 2007, he wanted to include a coffee shop but didn’t have the space. But by April of 2015, he had partnered with Filter Coffeehouse to open a new Brookland location, fulfilling his dream of having a bike shop and coffeehouse under one roof. “The community response has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Harney. “Bikes and coffee tend to attract the same people, particularly in an urban setting.” On any given day, Harney will see folks coming in for coffee and shopping bikes, or stopping in for a repair and then staying for coffee.

 Angry Catfish, Minneapolis
“I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get good coffee anywhere in Minneapolis,” says Josh Klauck of his inspiration for Angry Catfish. “This offered us an opportunity to build a shop that was a true community hub and gathering place. People don’t just like to ride, they like to talk about riding.” Now approaching six years in business, Angry Catfish operates a full-service repair and retail shop catering to high-performance riders and casual cruisers. Klauck serves seasonal coffees from Intelligentsia prepared via Chemex, single-cup pour-over, siphon and French press, and the menu features specialty items like a Smoked Mocha with sea salt that’s been smoked in alderwood.

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