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Bike-friendly cafe coming to North Portland

Posted by on July 31st, 2007 at 8:59 am

Coming soon to NoPo:
a bike-friendly cafe!

North Portlanders are eagerly awaiting the opening of the Little Red Bike Cafe at 4823 N. Lombard Street.

I came across the upcoming eatery via the blog of cafe owners Ali and Evan Jepson-Dohrmann. They wrote about Joel Domreis of Courier Coffee and my handy Google News alert sent the post to my inbox.

The cafe’s name, bikey logo, and their partnership with bike-delivered Courier Coffee (you might recall my story on Joel back in April) piqued my interest, so I asked co-owner Evan a few questions about their plans.

What’s with the name?

Cafe owners Ali and Evan.
(Photo courtesy Ali and Evan)

“There are many reasons why we chose it: Yes, we do bike, and while we do also drive sometimes, we feel that bicycling is unquestionably a superior means of transport for so many different reasons, and we hope to encourage others to bike more often through our cafe.

To us, the words “little red bike” conjure up images of a bike you might have had when you were a kid, or perhaps a beautiful Schwinn cruiser you always wanted but couldn’t afford until you were an adult. Essentially our menu is based on mid 20th century American cuisine, but utilizing high quality and local ingredients. Some of the items on our menu might even be described as kid’s food for grownups.”

How did your partnership with Joel Domreis and Courier Coffee come about?

“Your article about Joel was one of the first articles I read about Courier Coffee, and I should say thanks because we didn’t really know that much about him prior to this year…

We want our customers to know that the coffee they drink was delivered by bicycle all the way from southeast (Portland). We hope that simply knowing this might help some people get past the intimidation of riding in the city. Joel has even inspired us to have our morning pastries delivered by bike, at least on some days.”

Do you have any specific bike-friendly ideas planned for the cafe?

“We do hope to offer a regular discount for cyclists, though we are still unsure about whether it will be a discount on coffee and other beverages, or food items. We also hope to collaborate with various local bike shops and have coupons for free food which people might receive if they purchase a new or used bike, or get a tune-up. We have plenty of other ideas too, but those are most likely the two bike friendly concepts we hope to pursue upon opening.”

How has Portland’s bike-centric reputation influenced you?

“Ali and I are both Portland natives, and we are proud to live in such a bike friendly city. The public interest in cycling has certainly come a long way over the past few decades, but I think the fact that Potter nearly cut-off funding recently demonstrates that there is still a lot of room to grow in terms of promoting cycling within the public consciousness. We hope that through our cafe, we can continually promote biking by offering cash incentives for those who choose to ride to our cafe.”

Little Red Bike Cafe will feature fresh baked goods, locally roasted coffee and espresso, artisan sandwiches, homemade ice cream, and more.

Sounds like it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and to the bike community. Good luck Evan and Ali!

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Robert Ping July 31, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Very exciting! I will be spending way too much money and time in there, I suspect, as a neighbor four blocks away.

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  • Evan & Ali July 31, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Thank you so much, Jonathan for writing such a kind article about our venture. We are just as excited to open as the rest of you. We are excited to welcome the N. Portland bike community (and beyond) with open arms. Between our coffee, food, ice cream, and craft beer & wine, we think we\’ll be able to offer just the right \”fuel\” for any rider out there.

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  • Shamus July 31, 2007 at 11:25 am

    We\’re right up the street in St Johns, and we\’ve been waiting for a good restaurant to open in the area – when do they open?

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  • Mr. Viddy July 31, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Now that is what I like, bikes and good eats. I knew I should have moved to NoPo when I had the chance!

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  • peder horner July 31, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    A welcome addition to NoPo. We\’ll see you soon.

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  • Scott Bricker, BTA July 31, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Don\’t forget about on-street bike parking. Feel free to contact me with questions.

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  • brettoo July 31, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Say, this and the Staccato post make me wonder if it\’s time for some kind of official Portland Bike Friendly Business certification. Maybe Jonathan\’s site could work with the city\’s bike folks to set up a list of criteria (bike racks, discounts for bikers, tire pumps available etc.) that would qualify these businesses for some kind of display poster or sticker for their front window, and maybe some kind of advertising campaign that all the businesses could contribute to. Then we could know which businesses to patronize. Whaddaya think, Jonathan and all?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) July 31, 2007 at 2:57 pm


    RE: Bike Friendly Biz Certification

    your comment lays out precisely what me and some other folks are already working on! Stay tuned for more info about this.

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  • dr. monkey July 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Heck Yes! My girlfriend and my friends love supporting bike friendly businesses. Thank you for letting us know about these places. Don\’t forget about Hot Lips Pizza, have you done an article about them yet? I may have missed it. I\’ll make sure to go to the little red bike when they open.

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  • dr. monkey July 31, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    Here\’s a link for the hot lips bike information:

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  • brettoo August 1, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Great to hear you\’re working on this Jonathan. Maybe BTA could be involved? And maybe we can also start a list of bike UNfriendly businesses. I can think of one –first name starts with S and ends with K.

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  • Mark Riskedahl September 8, 2007 at 10:23 am

    I biked a half hour out of my way to the Little Red Bike Cafe this morning to have one of the most pleasant breakfast experiences of my adult life. The hospitality and bike-friendly nature of this new establishment are seriously first-rate.

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