Published December 14th, 2016 at 11:20 AM
Kansas City’s attraction to the pairing of coffee and bikes is more than a cyclical development. Spokes Café and Cyclery, a new café and bike shop in Quality Hill (1200 Washington St., Suite B), is the latest in a collection of bike and coffee-related businesses under one roof.
Maps Coffee Roasters produces small-batch coffee roasted in the bike shop Velo + based in Lenexa, Kansas. Oddly Correct sends its caffeinated bike couriers to deliver fresh-roasted coffee to subscribing customers on Fridays in its delivery area. Hail! Coffee’s mobile operation serves nitrogenated coffee from its custom tricycle-cart.
Set to launch in late January, Spokes Café and Cyclery takes a different approach with its blend of coffee, beer, cocktails and bikes in a café setting. Spokes is designed as a café and hangout foremost, with an in-house bike shop to sell, repair and maintain bicycles. The business will be located on the ground floor of Cityscape Residential’s new Summit and Apex complex.
“The café is an ideal marriage of bikes, coffee and beer. Many rides start with a great cup of coffee and end with a good beer,” says Michelle Schmiedeler, operations manager for Spokes. “And, because cyclists love to eat, the café is a no-brainer.”
The concept emulates similar operations elsewhere, such as One on One Bicycle in Minneapolis, Denver Bike Café in Denver and Métier in Seattle. Spokes has been designed specifically for Kansas City’s Quality Hill location and urban customer base.
Co-founders Ryan Adams, Ty Henson, and managing partner Dan Walsh partnered on the concept built around the cycling lifestyle. The three men have been involved with BikeWalkKC, a local advocacy group that was instrumental in bringing the B-Cycle bike share program to the city. Through BikeWalkKC, the trio met Schmiedeler, who has extensive experience in bike shop and restaurant management.
The café menu is built around grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches and burritos, toast with toppings such as sliced avocado, fresh tomato and sea salt, and pastries. Lunch options include grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and classic sandwiches like chicken salad, BLT and a Reuben. From meatloaf to a grilled Cuban to pulled pork melts, Spokes will offer an array of selections that reinvent the basic patty melt and kicks it up a gear. Salads, soups, sides and savory snacks round out the menu.
“Our menu is designed to provide quality comfort food regardless of someone’s hobby,” Walsh said. “You can come to Spokes and get a meatloaf melt with white cheddar and fried onions on sourdough. You could come the next day and get a salad with grilled chicken, fresh vegetables and a house-made dressing with only five ingredients – no preservatives or fillers.”
The shop also focuses on servicing the active biking community. Many riders traverse through downtown en route to urban trails, such as the 15-mile Riverfront Heritage Trail, and popular cycling destinations near the municipal airport and West Bottoms. Spokes will sell bikes, accessories and apparel, and provide full-service repairs.
“Most group rides in town originate at either a bike shop, a bar or a coffee shop,” Walsh said. “We just happen to be all three. We are interested in being people’s first stop into downtown in the morning and last stop on their way out at night. At its core, Spokes is a local hangout.”
— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of the “KC Ale Trail.” Follow @FlatlandKC on Twitter for more food news and trends.