Since the establishment of the bicycle program within the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Los Angeles is making an effort to expand bicycle use across the city and allow for its roads to become more bicycle-friendly. Two passionate, bicycle-loving business owners also hope to increase the amount of bicyclists in their tiny community. Their contribution to the bicycle movement is in the form of a bicycle-friendly cafe. Located in the close knit neighborhood of Elysian Valley, more commonly known as Frogtown, Spoke Bicycle Cafe is a hidden gem that serves the bike riders that take the path along the Los Angeles River. The cafe is hoping to extend their business into a fully functioning restaurant, complete with a microbrewery and micro coffee roastery.
According to the two owners of Spoke Bicycle Cafe, the cafe was opened as a means to attract more people to choose riding a bicycle as their preferred method of transportation; instead of driving a car. When opening the business, the two owners had a vision where they could spread their passion of bicycles, food, and coffee with the residents of their community along the LA River. To fulfill the vision they had, they opened Spoke Bicycle Cafe in Frogtown.
The philosophy of Spoke Bicycle Cafe is very simple and beneficial to the little community of Frogtown. Their aim is to support locals by creating a friendly and welcoming space that uses products made locally, while catering to the needs of their customers. With a gorgeous view of the LA River and its bike path, the cafe is a prime location for bicyclists to take a break and grab some snacks and refreshments while out along the river. All snacks and coffee sold are made from local producers and support the local economy. On some days, there are events such as art tours and live music performances. The place even has a wall for bicyclists to hang their bikes while they eat and enjoy the scenery, making it a haven for any bicyclists that happen to stop by.
Spoke Bicycle Cafe is transitioning to serving full meals and beer, instead of exclusively snacks and coffee. Once the permits to do so are obtained and the transition is complete, the newly renovated Spoke Bicycle Cafe will be open daily, instead of Thursday to Sunday. One thing that will not be changing, however, is the name of the cafe. The expansion of this tiny little cafe can ensure that the community of Frogtown and Los Angeles are one step closer to having more bicycles on its roads.
How is your city making its streets more bicycle-friendly? Are there any local establishments similar to this bicycle cafe that serve bicyclists where you live? Share your thoughts and your city’s stories in the comments area below.
Credits: Data linked to sources. Images by Sophia Huynh.