Spoke Bicycle Cafe Kitchen Build Out
Spoke Bicycle Cafe is a new destination on the LA River Bike Path in Frogtown/Elysian Valley in Los Angeles. We are in a state of transition right now, but our passions include bikes, coffee, delicious & healthy food and drinks, art, and music. We plan to bring all of this to our space on the river and we hope you will join us as our project evolves.
We are trying to create something new that will put LA on the map for being forward thinking, innovative and community-minded. We believe in our idea and we know many others we have met along this journey do too. Thank you so much for your support and for being a part of the early days of this incredible adventure.
We are currently OPEN 8:30am to 7:00pm
Thursday – Sunday
WHO WE ARE
We are Laurie Winston and Rich Latronica, Atwater Village residents who love to ride our bikes to places with tasty food and drinks, fun and interesting people, and beautiful sights and sounds. This is our labor of love, our commitment to our ideals and ideas, and our attempt at creating something new and amazing in this city we all call home, the city that has everything. Except it doesn’t have this.
A little more about us
I enjoy traveling, learning new skills, walking and biking around Los Angeles, and making/eating delicious food. I come from a family of restaurant owners, caterers, and bakers, and have worked in the food service or hospitality industry for most of my life. I specialize in vegetarian food and love menu planning. This is my first restaurant venture on my own. My educational background is in Environmental Education as well as Environmental Policy and Planning and am currently pursuing a new interest in Psychology. Sustainability and working with our local environment are important aspects in the development of this project for me. I like gardening, my dogs, hiking, yoga, dancing, and listening to live music. I love exploring new places and believe you can’t really get to know a place until you experience it on foot, by bike, or at a slower pace than an automobile. I love meeting new people and am excited to have the opportunity to help create this awesome space for you all. I prefer light roast Aeropress coffee and almond cappuccinos. I’m a newly trained bicycle mechanic and teaching other women to become more self-sufficient with their bikes is a passion of mine. I’m currently riding a flat bar commuter hybrid, an older model Specialized Sirrus Comp.
I am a coffee geek who loves new technology. My education is in Information Systems Technology. I currently roast my own beans on a Hot Top and explore new and different roasting techniques all the time. I plan on taking my roasting to a larger scale as Spoke progresses. I am on a constant quest for innovation and efficiency and. I love finding new products and methods of doing things and introducing them to people. I’m an information junkie. My drink of choice is the deceptively simple Americano. I like playing, listening to, and producing music, taking photos, and brewing beer. I plan to eventually serve my own beer at Spoke, which will be brewed onsite in an open location where people can really see how the process works. Sourcing local, well-made products and ingredients is very important to me. I enjoy fixing things and solving complicated problems. I spend a lot of time walking and biking in LA. Inattentive drivers are my foes. I’m currently rocking a Trek 7.2FX and am mainly a commuter.
We believe in quality work and quality products made by local people. We strive to keep improving the community and involving locals in our plans. We will build an inclusive place where people feel welcome and comfortable. We are designing a beautiful space that enhances the natural environment. We will support and include other local businesses as much as possible. We enjoy producing and serving creative, tasty beverages. We source delicious food that tastes as good as it is good for you. We love bicycling, encouraging people to travel by bicycle, and helping people learn about and improve their bikes. We create new concepts, innovative ideas, and adapt to the changing world.
What is Spoke Bicycle Cafe?
Located in Elysian Valley/Frogtown at the end of a dead end street in an industrial and residential area, we share a large border with the LA River bike and pedestrian path. There are very few convenient services for the neighborhood and we would like to provide both neighborhood residents and path users with food and drinks. a gathering space, bicycle repair services and rentals, as well as music and art events.
We want to create a place that people are proud to have in their neighborhood and a place people are excited to come visit. We want more people to discover the river. There aren’t very many places for the people of LA to go so close to home where they can forget about the traffic, the hustle and bustle, and chaos of everyday life. The river is one of these places. We don’t hear traffic here. We hear birds, see wildlife, see native river plants. We don’t have to hurry here. We want to help people experience this valuable and life-enriching area.
We are following the principles behind the adaptive reuse building philosophy, where we are using what we have, but making it better. We are renovating existing buildings, not tearing them down and putting in something that clashes with the look and culture of the area. We have chosen to work with the industrial/nature dichotomy of the site and will enhance the area, not detract from it.
The bike shop is open now. We repair bikes, sell accessories, and recently began renting bicycles as well. We are improving the bike shop every week, so come in and see what we’ve added lately. We have a shaded area with free water, restrooms, and great company for people to relax on hot days. We currently sell a variety of healthy snacks and cold drinks, along with T shirts and an ever changing selection of our famous five dollar records. We have live music on the weekends and have events like tie dye parties, art shows, and bicycle repair clinics. We will continue all of this as we expand and continue to promote non-motorized forms of transportation.
What We Need & What You Get
Our first project is to build a full kitchen in order to offer freshly made breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, bowls and other tasty foods. We will also be expanding our coffee offerings and introducing new, exciting beverage choices like smoothies, tonics, and juices. We plan to serve healthy and delicious California-style food, craft beer and wine with an emphasis on local breweries and wineries. Phase two of our project will involve brewing our own beer. Our emphasis will be on delicious food that makes people feel good and comes from as close by as we can get it. There will be food options for all types of diets, including vegetarian, gluten free, paleo, and french fry lovers.
We have the plans ready and all the sign offs from the city, but we need some help with the funds to actually build the kitchen. We have come up with a lot of cool ways you can contribute and get some amazing perks!
- This first phase we are asking for $25,000.00
- Check out the our unique offerings that include Coffee for a year, an invite to our big party, bike tune-ups for a lifetime, and opportunities to have your name on our living wall or on one of the rental bikes.
- All funds are going directly to building of our full service kitchen.
We want to provide needed and desired services for the people who already live in the neighborhood as well as the many city residents who use the path for exercise, recreation, and rejuvenation. We have received a lot of positive feedback from neighbors and local residents who want a place where they can have a beer or a glass of wine along with a meal in their community; a place with enough space to bring the kids, the family dog, their bicycles (without having to worry about them getting stolen). We want to provide that space. We get so many people who come in every day and say, “what a great space, so much potential.” We want to realize that potential and give the people what they want! Your contribution will allow us to serve the bike and river community and offer a destination for the many LA River and Frogtown visitors. We strive to make the space better and involve the community by using the many artists and manufacturers from Frogtown to build and stock our restaurant.
We will be creating a gathering space and meeting place in an area that has no neighborhood center or street or much of anything for people to do to get to know one another. We’ve already seen this in action. People who live on the same street have met for the first time at Spoke. We’ve seen this happen multiple times and the immediate results are heartwarming, but the long-term results will be even better. This is how you create healthy communities who really care about each other and the well being of their neighbors, streets, sidewalks, and culture. When people have a place to get to know each other, positive things happen.
We have the opportunity to create something incredible and your support can really make a difference. Thank you so much. We can’t wait to meet you all!