By Kevin Collison
Downtown Kansas City is on a roll, and one of its latest new businesses is spinning a blend of bicycles, beers and good food, a combination that’s proved popular in other cities including Denver and Minneapolis.
The new Spokes opened five weeks ago at 1200 Washington St., one of the first retailers in the equally new Summit on Quality Hill apartment development. It’s the creation of Dan Walsh, who got the idea from One on One Bicycle Studio in Minneapolis, “kind of the godfather of them all,” he said.
“We’re a cafe’ with a bicycle shop in the back,” Walsh said. “We want to be an energetic, full throttle place with locals during the week and cycle groups on the weekend.”
The 2,500 square-foot business features a full-service bar that offers 40 varieties of beer in bottles and another eight on tap. Big windows open onto Washington Street and the place has an airy, contemporary feel. In the back, there’s a full service bicycle repair shop.
Spokes also sells Felt and Open brand bicycles, and an assortment of bicycling accessories including helmets and branded clothing.
“The story is simple,” said Michelle Schmiedeler, operations manager. “Every bicycle ride starts with a good cup of coffee and ends with a beer with your friends.”
Yes, there’s coffee too, locally-roasted by Messenger. And if you prefer tea, Spokes offers Hugo tea which is local is well.
As for food, Schmiedeler said comfort food is a specialty as Spokes with an emphasis on melts. Other sandwiches include chicken salad, reuben and turkey.
Spokes is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Everything we do is slightly indulgent,” said Walsh. “It’s a cafe’ with the passion of a cyclist.”