A massive new motorcycle-influenced cafe and bar has come roaring into the Arts District, two years after first being announced. Bike Shed Moto Co., based out of London, opened its doors last Friday at 1580 S. Industrial Street, across from the Flying Embers Taproom and just down the street from Caboco, with plans to bring this section of Los Angeles all the deep leather, wood, and motorcycle talk it can handle.
First opened in 2015 in London by Anthony “Dutch” van Someren and wife Vikki van Someren, Bike Shed Motorcycle Company is part like-minded community hangout space, part membership club, part restaurant and evening lounge, and part daytime space for coffee and a full English breakfast. There are retail options galore inside the 30,000 square foot warehouse, along with independent spaces to get a haircut or a tattoo. Basically, consider Bike Shed to be a one-stop-shop for a certain kind of moto-loving Angeleno — or anyone who just feels like a bite to eat and a comfy couch in the Arts District. Diners, fans, and anyone can come through basically any time from 9 a.m. to midnight (or later), seven days a week, to peruse the giant multi-hyphenate space; and seriously, it’s worth a look.
The decor inside is a mix of vintage charm — brick, leather, exposed beams, poured cement — and modern touches, like flashy artwork, skylights, a wraparound bar, and seating for nearly 300 diners and drinkers at a clip. There are rare, vintage bikes hanging around, places to pick up a new set of riding gloves, and a shiny white-tiled barbershop to keep the cut looking fresh. Naturally, being a motorcycle owner is not required for admission, but given the artwork on the walls and the conversations at most tables, having at least an appreciation for motorcycle culture will help.
Chef Enrico Glauco (Primi, Tra di Noi Ristorante) is on to oversee the robust menu, which runs all day but has a separate morning menu. Espresso drinks will be in high demand, as will plates of eggs, chicken and waffles in the morning, and a rare proper English breakfast. Lunch is for bright, crisp beet salads or maybe Bike Shed’s thick pub-style burger, while evening gives way to classic cocktails and California-Italian preparations that range from pappardelle to baby back ribs and a tomahawk steak. For dessert, the buttery-rich bread pudding is the one to order.
This isn’t the first time that Downtown’s Arts District has played to the two-wheeled crowd. The House of Machines out of South Africa previously occupied a space along 7th, just down from Guerrilla Tacos, that filled much the same motorcycle cafe/bar (and, for them, live music) vibe — and that address was later taken over late last year by Detroit Vesey’s, an intentionally inclusive hangout for cyclists instead. Now it’s time for Bike Shed Moto Co. to hit the streets.