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Welcome to the Dutch Bike Café!
This is Brian, the lead Barista at the new Dutch Bike Café that is located right in the heart of old Ballard in the Dutch Bike Co. Take a break from shopping for your Workcycle or a Bakfiets and check out our new coffee locale! I’m excited to let you know about the refined focus on coffee and espresso in our warm and inviting new café.
We are using locally roasted Lighthouse Coffee, and getting compliments and winning loyal regulars right from the start. The espresso profile is rich and warm with lingering notes of cocoa and a dry finish, much like a good red wine. To showcase the fresh roasted beans we are offering great drinks like the macchiato: which is espresso with a touch of steamed milk. We call it “the world’s tiniest latte." The doppio -- simply a double shot of espresso in a cute little cup & saucer -- is another great way to savor the flavor of the espresso. If you’re a traditionalist we have piping hot French press coffee all-day for your “drip coffee” experience.
Pair any of our great espresso drinks -- like the cinnamon and vanilla infused cappuccino -- with a lunch sandwich hot from the grill or one of Julie’s famous Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies and you are in for a tasty and enjoyable treat!
Plenty of folks are stopping in for a cup of morning joe and a breakfast sandwich. We also see a lot of you swinging in with your bikes for a tune-up and to test ride the great selection of bikes at the shop and to have a latte with friends.
Stay tuned for more updates on our fabulous baked goods, ice cream sandwiches, and espresso delights!
Dutch Bike Chicago customer Andrew Coffey and his son JP share their fall day with us.
Seems over the last few weeks here in Chicago we've had a snow storm every few days. Eddie, our property manager, begins his snow shoveling rounds many times before 4:00 AM. Shoveling sidewalks is The Law here in the windy city and property owners are fast (and smart) to mitigate their liabilities. Buried under the covers, as I drift in in and out of dreaming my next tropical vacation, I can hear the shovel scraping.
Now for many cities, this sort of weekly winter onslaught results in municipal paralysis (to the delight of all school-free children). In Chicago, four or five inches of snow quickly succumbs to battalions of snow plows, running day and night on all the major boulevards, strewing salt behind them as if the roads are salmon fillet and we are curing gravlax for the holiday. Due to this saline seasoning, the roads remain wet to well below twenty degrees. Cars shoosh by as if it just rained. Truly icy main roads are a rarity, and on the occasion the roads do dry, they just imitate ice like the flats of Bonneville
I do not ever remember applying the adjective awesome to the cold, but today it applies. On my morning Bakfiets ride to the gym, ice formed on my nostril hairs. My breath escaped into giant steam clouds only to freeze as layers of ice on my sunglasses. I suppose there is a point where a gob of spit would freeze before it hits the ground, but it's not quite that cold yet, but seemingly close. NOAA says it's -3 degrees Fahrenheit, that's -19 degrees C for you Swedish astronomy fans. Did I mention it's sunny and the wind is blowing 30-40 mph? That makes the wind chill -30 degrees F. Santa says wear a hat, eye protection and some good gloves. The ride to the gym is less than two miles, so I savored less than ten minutes each way of the invigorating awesomeness that is today's blowing cold.
When it's this cold the accumulated snow, well, it does just that: accumulates. It has no place to go other than under and around parked cars. It doesn't melt, no matter how much salt the DOT Head Chef throws on the pig. Even the randomly strewn blue salt crystals on my Bakfiets cargo cover were encased in ice. I passed several motorists digging out their cars, one, stuck in a rocking back and forward, howling tire dance (with a tip of the cap to Sammy Hagar) called "I can't drive 55" (like it's 55 degrees, that is). No problem for a post-apocalyptic, wool overcoat-clad, studded tire riding Bakfiets pilot. I just plow my bike into the snow bank, hop off and push the guy out of his predicament. Subsequently, we both drive off much happier about the state of motorist-cyclist relations.
Because Chicago is really, truly, unbelievably, billiard table flat, it is universally "Bakfiets-able". The only hills are bridges and valleys, freeway underpasses. This makes it easy to carry whatever I like, wherever I like. About 40 lbs of "stuff" (anything will do, even snow) in the front of the Bakfiets will help the front wheel cut through even the most peanut-buttery snow. Because Bakfiets and rider are together as aerodynamic as a cathederal, wind can just as easily be an enemy as a friend. I ride the narrower tree-lined side streets, where the wind is less ferocious and pedal like a liquor store bandit whenever the wind is to my back, because it is just as likely to be blasting me in the face by the next intersection.
The Seattle staff are all in Chicago this weekend to assist with the grand opening of the Chicago store. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause our customers and visitors to the shop. Just give us a call in Chicago 312-265-0175 if you need any assistance. We all have access to email, so you can still reach us that way as well.
Our inventory has arrived. Thanks to Henry at Workcyles for packing more bikes into a 40 ft ocean-going container than seems humanly possible and seeing to it that they arrived in perfect time for our Grand Opening. Thanks also to the Chicago area US Customs for making this the smoothest and swiftest clearing process we have experienced. Thanks especially to Gerson Development and Exit Management for making possible and welcoming us into our new home.