The Elysian Valley neighborhood affectionately known as Frogtown is changing rapidly, and with it comes a whole slew of new opportunities for the ultra-casual Spoke Bicycle Cafe. The indoor-outdoor eatery currently serves a clientele of locals and, mostly, cyclists using the river-adjacent bike path, but has hopes to expand in a big way — if only you’re willing to help.
Owners Laurie Winston and Rich Latronica are Atwater Village natives who spent plenty of time along the bike path themselves, before occupying a sliver of real estate that opens out onto the asphalt itself, with the intention of creating a community hub for cyclists and Frogtown locals. It proved to be a smart plan, as the pair built up a simple coffee-and-snacks business into something pretty reliable not only for the neighborhood, but those weekend cycling warriors.
Sensing the opportunity for something greater, the Spoke folks took to the city to get proper permitting that would allow them to update the sparse location and turn it into a full-fledged restaurant, microbrewery and local coffee roasting operation in one. That’s proven, of course, to be something of a bear to manage, but designer Danny Estrada from Alchemy Design Studios is on board and the city has been so far giving them the go-ahead to realize their dreams.
Which is where you come in. Spoke is hoping to raise $25,000 via Indiegogo as a way to help defray all those build-out costs and bring the cafe to life. Donation perks run the gamut from tote bags and lunch for two to a lifetime of free coffee. If you feel like donating, the campaign runs through nearly the end of the year.
In the meantime, Spoke is actually giving away coffee (they can’t sell the stuff until their kitchen build-out is complete) during their regular hours, which run Thursday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. When all is said and done, which should likely be sometime in early spring 2016, Spoke will look to have a few dozen seats and the ability to serve sandwiches and salads during the day, with more substantial fare at night — including beer they brewed themselves.
Spoke Bicycle Cafe
3050 N. Coolidge Ave.
Los Angeles, CA