A bicycle cafe! Sounds like my Elysium: a vision of freshly-brewed coffee, artisan baking, all kinds of bicycles and bike memorabilia in an accessible urban space – where you can even park your own bike right next to your table. Probably a delusion though, I mean no one place could actually provide all my favourite things; could it?
Well yes. As soon as I entered Siempre Bicycle Cafe last week, all my habitual cautious pessimism evaporated as I sensed the heady aroma of roasted coffee, noticed the cool retro cycling prints and was warmly welcomed by the friendly staff. Invited to look around, things just got better: in addition to the combination of my favourite object and drink of choice, the cafe also offers bike maintenance, aims to attract and encourage women cyclists and stocks singular gear that is perfect for cycling but doesn’t look like cycling kit.
Located in Glasgow’s West End, right next door to Kelvinhall Subway Station, the cafe defines itself on its locally-sourced and organic produce, such as Tapas breads and Dear Green coffee. It’s open from 6.30am, providing healthy breakfast options to hungry commuters and the cafe space can be hired for special occasions and celebrations.
And outside, once current construction work is complete, will be transformed into an inclusive space where commuters can leave their bikes, diners can relax in the sun and kids can learn to cycle.
Siempre is not just for cyclists though. The spacious interior is equally pram and luggage friendly and the free, fast in-house WiFI, makes the cafe ideal for impromptu meetings, as well as social and work related net surfing.
Combining my love of coffee, cake and bikes in some form has always been one of my life ambitions. While my aspirations remain firmly in the dream category for the moment, I’m more than happy to enjoy Siempre’s excellent realisation of three of my favourite things.
On your bike, on foot, en route to and from the subway, to Kelvingrove or the Riverside, pop into Siempre and see how a derelict and unused city building can be transformed into a vibrant and co-operative urban space.
Any initiative that encourages and facilitates more people to cycle has to be positive and, when it also includes creamy flat whites, melt-in-the-mouth fudge and freshly baked bread, what’s not to like?
Well done Siempre, I’m already looking forward to my next visit.