The Hub and Spoke – A Cycling Cafe

Photo by Sherri Martin

Photo by Sherri Martin

Anyone who has ever been to a rural European town to experience a cycling event will tell you it is unlike anything you will find in North America. The ambiance of the cafes and the excitement of the patrons is an essential part of the cycling culture. Often you can post up in a café along the race route with a pint or espresso (usually standing room only) and anticipate the race arriving. Once it gets close you simply spill outside the front doors onto the street curb and try not to blink while the riders race by. Then, back inside to continue with the event on the television amidst all the excitement.

Victoria resident, cyclist and entrepreneur Jeff George is hoping to capture a little of this tradition by bringing it to his pop up café The Hub and Spoke. The café will be located in the previous Sips location at 425 Simcoe Street in James Bay.  It will operate for the duration and celebration of the 100th year of the Tour de France from June 29th – July 21st inclusively.

The café will be open during the week from 5:30-10:30am. 2% Jazz Coffee and Silk Road Teas will be served along with local pastries to sit back and savor and watch the race on one of the three flat screens. (Gluten Free options will be available)

In the evenings from 5pm-10pm you can come by and watch the re-cap of the days stage. The menu has not been finalized but the focus will be on charcuterie from The Whole Beast Artisan Salumeria along with Charelli’s Cheese Shop and Delicatessen.  Local Italian baker Il Forno di Claudio will be (appropriately) delivering his fresh breads to the café daily on his bicycle.

The wine will be local (to be determined) and will be served by the glass or you can purchase your favorite bottle next store at Spinnakers Spirit Merchants and the Hub will happily do a corkage fee for you.

Keeping in the bike theme these beers will be available from local breweries: Phillips (Slipstream Cream Ale, Lighthouse Switchback IPA, and Spinnakers Tour de Victoria Kolsch. Spinnakers and 2% Jazz are also collaborating to brew a specialty coffee based beer exclusively for the café.

Even though the Peloton of the Tour de France will not be charging down Simcoe Street anytime soon, the Hub and Spoke should prove to be the next best thing. Cycling is alive and well in Victoria and local participant Ryder Hesjedal has enormous support from his home town of fans who will get together and be watching every grueling day. So bring your bike down, pull up a chair and indulge in a little European culture while it lasts.

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