If you've talked with any of us here at Dutch Bike in the past year, you've probably heard us talk about “the move.” While we're staying in the same area, we're moving the Seattle shop onto historic Ballard Avenue: the main street of one of Seattle's most interesting and vibrant neighborhoods. Ballard Ave perfectly balances the nightlife, boutiques, and restaurants we enjoy with the hardware, sheet metal, machining, and other light industrial businesses that keeps the neighborhood lively and living. Of course, because we could never forget our roots down by the boat launch in “scenic industrial Ballard,” we feel right at home in a building between a machine shop and 58 year old Ballard Hardware and Supply.
The building into which we're moving was for the first part of the century home to Kolstrand Manufacturing Co., a famous name in the Northwest marine industry. The Graham-Baba designed rebuild has maintained the old brick shell with even the remnants of the original “Kolstrand Mfg. Co.” paint intact while creating a polished and eminently usable retail and restaurant space inside.
Our designer and builder – David Lipe of 16D – has similarly reused much of the original wood and materials in the interior construction, including some beautiful and humorous touches that you'll just have to drop by to experience. Inside the shop we've also commissioned a mural by Ed Fotheringham, our friend responsible for our “flower girl” and “keg mover” posters.
In addition to Alex – the newest addition to the bike shop – we've got several great baristas (baristi for the language purists) warming up for the cafe component of the new shop. Your eyes do not deceive: the new Dutch Bike Seattle shop will be Seattle's first fully implemented bicycle cafe! We'll be brewing excellent and powerful coffee from local roaster Lighthouse, starting at six AM so you can start even your earliest morning rides with a bang. David has been updating the Flickr stream with the array of delicious snacks Julie has been designing for the shop, and the pictures will make you hungrier than anything I could write here. You'll also find made-to-order sandwiches, pastries from lauded local bakery Macrina, and some tasty – and surprisingly filling – cookies.
The finishing touches are going on the construction as I write this, and our grand opening is still on schedule for July 24th. We'll be fully operational- tuning, repairing, upgrading, renting, and of course selling bicycles, and rolling out an expanded array of interesting accessories. With two expert mechanics our turnaround time for tune-ups and other in-depth maintenance will be close to the same you'd expect from your coffee orders. In fact, if you're ordering anything more complicated than an americano while you get your flat fixed, maybe we'll race you!