Update: Velo Cult, the Portland business mentioned in the article, closed in 2018. As a result we have had to remove links to that site and its great graphics. You can get a sense of what Velo Cult was like through two articles on the closing at BikePortland and Willamette Week.
Could Peterborough support a business like this?
One of the things we miss in Peterborough is the old Kaos Café. It was great because it mixed things that many people enjoyed: movies, beer and food. While it lost some of its charm when it went all upscale, it was always a treat to go out for a meal, enjoy a beer (including several micro-breweries) and then take your second beer into the movie theatre and enjoy an independent “art-house” movie. In many ways the Kaos was early example of the spirit what we now know as our great downtown Peterborough culture.
While the old Kaos mixed three things we love (food-drink-movies), what about an establishment that combines three other things we love: food, drink and BIKES????? Well, such a place exists in that famous bike mecca, Portland, Oregon. As can be seen by the right side of their masthead banner above, Velo Cult, is a combination bike shop, restaurant and micro brew heaven. Besides an interesting blog (don’t read while hungry), their website features an online bicycle museum. Also, be sure to check out their about page; it’s a great story. The entire place looks like a fun and funky place and we hope to visit it one day when we finally take that west coast bike tour.
“Could you pass me a brake cable stretcher and a dry hopped IPA, please?”
So, the question is, could such a place make it in Peterborough? Think a fusion of St Veronus, the Ashburnham Alehouse and B!Ke with a little bit of Wild Rock thrown in. Now, we appreciate the economic limitations. Portland has a population of about half a million. It is, probably and on a relative scale, the most bike-centric city in North America. Then there are Ontario liquor laws that seem to frown on connecting beer and fun (unless huge corporate interests are involved). So, maybe the logistics wouldn’t work.
Think: B!ke, St Veronus, Wild Rock and the Ashburnham Ale house all rolled into one.
We like to look at these sample images from their blog, think about beer, benches, baguettes and bikes and just dream a little dream. Update since Velo Cult closed: check out this video visit on YouTube.
Add a paddling section and a small sound stage for small evening concerts and you would have the perfect total customer experience.
We would brand the experience Vélogustation!