It's not easy to be all things to all people, but for the past five years, the Denver Bicycle Cafe has tried, operating a spot that's a combination of cozy coffeehouse, bike sales-and-repair shop, and beer bar noted for its focus on small local breweries. This month, DBC will try to become all of that for even more people when it expands its space by 1,000 square feel and opens the Beer Hall next door with a separate entrance.
"It's really nerve-racking,” says Jessica Caouette, who founded DBC with Peter Roper in 2011. "We are going from pretty big to really big.”
With the addition, the DBC will run from the corner of East 17th Avenue and Lafayette Street to the alley; the coffee shop and patio will remain on the alley side, the bike shop in the newly-expanded middle and the Beer Hall in the new space on the corner. Although the coffee side will still serve beer, it will remain coffee-focused, with longer hours.
Inside the Denver Bicycle Cafe today.
“The majority of the beer and the beer atmosphere and product will move to the new space,” Caouette says, nothing that the comedy, music and beer-and-cheese pairing events will be there as well. Opening at 3 p.m. daily, the Beer Hall will have twelve taps, mostly for Colorado beers, as well as a large lineup of canned craft brews, some cider and wine. Caouette says they are working on developing a selection of specialty bombers as well.
The 1,000-square-foot space has seating for fifty and plenty of standing room, and although people can technically buy a beer and still wander through the bike shop to the coffee house on the other side, it will be a little awkward because they will have to pass through the-bike repair area where the mechanics are working.
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Because it is casual and non-demanding, DBC has developed a reputation over the years as the place where new Denver breweries can sell their first outside keg. That will continue, Caouette says, but the spot also has strong relationships with several established small breweries, like Black Shirt and Black Project (part of Former Future) in Denver, Caution Brewing in Lakewood, and Black Bottle in Fort Collins, which will be able to send more unusual offerings to the new, larger space.
“That is another reason why we wanted to do this,” Caouette says. “We will have an ability to tap almost any beer we want to. We want to keep that excitement going for the little guys, the one-offs, the specialty kegs – whatever the breweries have going on."
Caouette says she is hoping to open by March 20, if not earlier, assuming final inspections go well.