Denver Bicycle Cafe gets in gear on 17th Avenue

Denver Bicycle Cafe, which rolled onto the scene on November 22, is the town's first bikecentric coffeeshop, combining food, drink and a little bike grease.

"Business has been steady," says Jessica Caouette, one of the owners. "We're still just getting to know the neighborhood. It's been nice and slow, so it's given us time to get all our systems online so we can have everything perfect."

On a recent weekday, the long, wide bar was sprinkled with laptop users tapping away to a Sam Cooke soundtrack; two cruisers sat in the bike work area, waiting. Through the winter, the bike mechanic will work every Thursday, and alternate Fridays and Saturdays. "When he's here, he's totally busy. Lots of bike service going on," says Caouette. "Come spring, the bike service will expand significantly."

That's when the owners plan to host a grand opening complete with bike cleaning and tuning services, as well as plenty of good food, coffee and beer. As the weather warms, group rides will commence from the shop; they hope to work with other Denver cycling organizations, including the East High Road Bike Club.

In the meantime, the cafe has formed a sort of small-business rebel alliance to complete its menu. "We're really excited about our local food," Caouette says. "We have Moe's Bagels, La Casita Tamales and WaterCourse pastries. People have been especially excited about the tamales." On the coffee side, skilled baristas flex their espresso muscles and show off alternative brewing methods, including French press and the fast-growing pour-over.

The menu is 100 percent local, including the beer -- currently all Denver drafts and Colorado cans. The taps will be changed often, offering a rotating selection. The Denver Bicycle Cafe opens at 6 a.m. every day, and stays open until 8 p.m. on weekdays, 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; happy hour discounts are offered every day from 4 to 6 p.m.

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