Spoke Bicycle Cafe Open Letter to Elysian Valley Stakeholders

2016 spoke cafe
Date: January 31, 2016 at 9:33:30 PM PST
Subject: Spoke Bicycle Cafe

Hi, David,

This is in reference in our discussion and those you may have with the Neighborhood Watch community.

You had a great point about the 2 am closing time, as it really isn’t necessary considering our planned operation – you can see below that we have reduced the hours.
We do not plan to lease parking spaces as our operation is about the bike path, pedestrians and local residents, plus we just won’t have that many people at the site.
It just makes no sense to make it easier to drive to the location as we are an alternative transportation venue and reducing traffic and automobile transportation.
The few activities we do have tend to provide a local social / community benefit.
That being said, we will work with our surrounding property owners to make sure as much parking is available as possible and directed away from any residential use.

I hope this as well as the statement below clarifies our request and that we do not intend to change the character of Spoke in any way.

Spoke Bicycle Café is the LA River’s first combination cafe, bicycle repair shop, and neighborhood gathering space. We are Laurie Winston and Richard Latronica, Atwater Village residents who love to ride our bikes and the beautiful sights and sounds of the LA River.

Located in Elysian Valley/Frogtown at the end of a dead end street, we share a large border with the bike and pedestrian path. We actively sought feedback from the neighborhood residents who already live here to create a safe place they are proud to have in their community. We want to provide services they have requested not to change our character of operation, but to enhance it for the LA River users, bicyclists, kayakers, pedestrians and local residents.

We are requesting a Conditional Use Permit for the sale of beer and wine. Beer and wine sales will only be a small part of our menu. In fact, at Spoke, our menu will be more substantial than most restaurants offer since riders need fortifying nutrition and often higher calorie content. Food will be offered during all hours of operation.

We are not expanding the existing square footage (2,553 square feet).
We are adding a kitchen to be able to offer food within the existing building footprint.
The floor plan reflects 74 outdoor seats – none of which will be along the bike path – all interior to our space.
We will provide on-site trash and keep the area clean, including outside along the bike path.
We are adding bicycle parking interior and exterior to the space, as this is about the bike riders and pedestrians of the LA River, as well as a gathering place for the local residents.

We plan to open in the morning for coffee and breakfast and will have a closing time of midnight at the latest (7 am – 11 pm Sunday throughThursday, and 7 am – midnight Friday and Saturday).

The hours of operation after sun down are important for bike riders, as the air is cooler, especially during the summer time.
They also permit activities popular with the riders, such as the screening of bicycle cinema shorts.

Spoke is a neighborhood gathering place where many local residents have met for the first time and are really getting to know each other. The few activities we do have provide a local social / LA River community benefit, such as the “Wheels to Water” event empowering people with disabilities through adaptive kayaking, pedestrian/bicycle “Share the Path” safety events co-sponsored with the Neighborhood Watch, the CycloFemme’s Mother’s Day ride to benefit women’s health and Woodbury School of Architecture’s introduction of their new furniture / bike rack combo which they are installing and donating to Spoke. These will continue as semi-regular activities focused on bike riders, local neighborhood residents and LA River walkers – about once/week as they have been in the past.

This used to be an auto repair shop. Now it is about bikes, pedestrians, neighbors and the LA River community.

For those of you who have already seen what we are about, that won’t be changing. We are still going to be the same Spoke. For those who haven’t, please come by and say hello. We would love to meet you and answer any questions you may have. We are serious about listening to your concerns and incorporating as many of your ideas as we can.

Laurie and Richard