Bike Shop + Coffee + Beer: A Trend I’ll Follow

It seems to be a growing trend – at least in the US – bike shops that do double duty as cafes. Whether it be just coffees and fancy sodas, or beer and wine a  few bike shops around the country are adding a new retail twist to the traditional bikes + accessories line up.

Red Lantern Bicycles opened back in July in Brooklyn, New York.This month they finally received approval for the liquor license so they can now sell those PBRs to their thirsty clientele.

Red Lantern Bicycles – Brooklyn New York. (photo via

We have our own local bike shop + cafe here in Chicago –   Heritage Bicycles   They opened this winter with an absolutely beautiful shop selling bikes made here in Chicago, along with cool bike gear, great coffee and tea, in a great spot to hang out.

Heritage Bicycles (photo: Melissa Salvatore)

The Dutch Bike Company (Seattle) expanded their Ballard Street location last year to include room for a cafe that sells coffee, pastries, as well as beer and wine. What’s not to love?

(photo via Dutch Bike Co Cafe )

When the local version of the New York Times recently published the article about Red Lantern Bicycles and the acquisition of their liquor license, it drew a couple of comments from people concerned that it would lead to an increase in drinking and cycling. Read the article and comments for yourself.  I found that a bit odd considering that I, like many cyclists, ride for transportation, not just recreation, so chances are that I could be cycling to a party or a bar as well as a grocery store, office, or other errand.  Not sure how a bike shop that sells beer will somehow force one to drink and bike any more that one already might on one’s own daily travels.  Sounds a little far-fetched to me, perhaps the comments were a setup. In any event, I think bike shops that are also cafes (with or without beer) are a great idea. Anything that fosters community and makes the shop more inviting to those new to cycling is a bonus in my book. What do you think?

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