Bar: Shift into low gear at Denver Bicycle Cafe
For all of your work, play and bicycle-repair needs, roll over tothe Denver Bicycle Cafe.
The effortlessly hip DBC splits its personality evenly. It’s sedate enough for the coffee-sipping laptop crowd but also welcomes chilled-out drinkers. And anyone having bike trouble is especially welcome — in addition to coffee and booze, the cafe serves up a full menu of bike-repair services at its on-site shop.
Seriously: The full bike tune and a “light” tune are actual menu items, coming in at $80 and $40 respectively. You can grab a drink, have a seat and watch while a mechanic gets busy with your bike.
The pinewood bar is the centerpiece of the cavernous Uptown room: Its U-shape connects the two storefronts that make up the cafe. It’s a simple, open setup: bikes on one side, beverages and lounging on the other, but without full separation between the two areas. While one sips on the drinking side, the soft clinks and whirs of the bike shop become part of the background noise.
Seating is ample, thanks to long, beer-hall-style picnic tables in the coffee-and-grog-shop area. They’re large enough for several strangers to share, or for a huge crew of friends to gather around. Privacy-seekers can set up at a smaller table, snag an easy chair or perch in one of the bar-height seats along the windows.
The cafe’s vibe is ultra-relaxed. The music is set at a perfect level — loud enough to be heard but not enough to rattle the brains of people reading and working. It’s a nifty trick in a spare, high-ceilinged space filled with hard surfaces.
During the day, the cafe is sunny. A bank of tall windows faces East 17th Avenue,
bathing the room in natural light. For even more sunshine, there’s a roomy patio on the east side of the building. It’s populated with picnic tables, too, changing the feel from beer hall to beer garden. It’s going to be a glorious spot, come summer.
As nighttime nears,beer loverspop in to sample the all-Colorado brew selection. The taps pour some familiar favorites, like Wynkoop’s Two Guns Pilsner, but also dispense suds from up-and-coming breweries like Caution, Elk Mountain and Copper Kettle. The list of canned and bottled beers is even more extensive. (Sorry, winos: There’s currently just one wine on offer, from the Jack Rabbit Hill winery in Hotchkiss.)
the DBC closes on the early side, between 8 and 9 p.m., the atmosphere tends to stay breezy and calm. Craft-beer-fueled mayhem is unlikely. At the DBC, it’s nice to stay in low gear.
THE DENVER BICYCLE CAFE.The bike shop with bar stools is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Happy hour: 4-6 p.m. daily; $1 off drafts and wine.1308 E. 17th Ave.; 720-446-8029,denverbicyclecafe.com