Red Lantern Cafe for Bicyclists Grows in Brooklyn

Coffee and cycling go handlebar-in-hand. So it’s no surprise that some bike shops are formalizing the relationship with a marriage of bike culture and caffeine.

Coffee and cycling go handlebar-in-hand. So it’s no surprise that some bike shops are formalizing the relationship with a marriage of bike culture and caffeine.

Following a growing trend in the US and abroad (see London’s popular Look Mum No Hands!), New York City finally has its first bicycling café. Red Lantern Bicycles, which Brian Gluck opened in Brooklyn last fall, features a workshop in the back and a coffee bar with wooden stools up front. It attracts Manhattan-bound cyclists from nearby bike lanes in the morning, and shop customers and passersby during the day. They savor brew from fresh-roasted beans that Gluck picks up by bicycle from Puerto Rico Importing Company.

Gluck, whose cycling résumé includes a stint as a New York City bicycle messenger and a previous partnership in another Brooklyn bike shop, saw an opening for a business geared toward city commuters. His shop offers maintenance, repairs, off-season storage and classes, but specializes in helping match people with affordable, used bikes revitalized for urban riding or converted for cargo hauling. Typically you’ll find steel frames with fixed, flip-flop, or three- or five-speed internal hubs. “The longtail is our answer to the car,” he said.

Although the shop is named for the Lanterne Rouge of cycling lore – the distinction awarded the rider who finishes last in a road cycling race such as the Tour de France – Gluck is moving full speed ahead. He has applied for a liquor license to serve wine and beer in hopes of extending even further sociability around cycling culture.

1 Comment

  • der franco

    After reading a article in a local free publication I checked out Musette Caffe. Located off the Hornby bike lane, tucked away inconspicuously locate in the back of a building sandwiched in between a CAR dealership. This caffe has amazing decor and host a staff that is as passionate about coffee as they are about bike culture..not to mention they have tool and tubes for the roadie who just needs a quick lube and libation…I went on one of the first open days and it seems that its still in the starting phase, there was no bike rack out front so some creative chain up is required…A sweet little business to support right off of one of the cities fabulous separated bike lanes…
    check them out on FB..
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Musette-Caffe/292814674082281

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Musette-Caffe/292814674082281

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