This one-stop shop for coffee and cycling enthusiasts alike is the brainchild of Chris Herron and Mike Shaw, who used to work together at Clarence Street Cyclery. The pair opened their own bike shop and espresso bar in the city centre last December.
The open-plan space has an industrial feel, with exposed airconditioning ducting along the ceiling and a warehouse-style roller door at the back. When open, it offers a no-frills view of an urban back lane; inside, bikes are strung from the walls.
Despite the no-frills decor, it's cosy in the corner where the espresso bar sits, with a bright painting on one wall and a carefully chalked blackboard menu on another. Customers, who include office workers and cyclists, can watch bikes being built and serviced while waiting for their order, and stock up on cycling apparel and other paraphernalia.
Coffee is a drawcard in its own right here. A flat white of the Dark Horse house blend ($3.90) - a mix of Ethiopian and Kenyan beans roasted and supplied by Mecca Espresso - is creamy and smooth in flavour. Tea aficionados will appreciate the selection of T-Nomics loose-leaf tea and chai. Nudie juices and sparkling waters are also offered.
The menu only covers breakfast, but there are plans to expand it later this spring. Brasserie Bread supplies the bread and pastries, and choices include home-made bircher muesli and toast topped with ricotta, honey and almond; or avocado, tomato and feta.
We opt for the latter ($6.50). A generous slice of toast is piled with the toppings, a lovely balance of creamy and salty. A frangipane and raspberry tart ($4.50) with a divine, paper-thin, crisp base is a subtle blend of sweet and slightly sour.
For simple food, well-made coffee and a new bike helmet, it's hard to go past Atelier de Velo. Get pedalling.
Atelier de Velo
Address Ground floor, 156 Clarence Street, city, 9045 1204
Open Mon-Wed, 8am-6pm; Thurs, 8am-8pm; Fri, 8am-6pm; Sat, 9am-4pm
- 02 9045 1204
- Opening Hours - Mon-Wed 8am-6pm. Thus 8am-8pm. Fri 8am-6pm. Sat 9am-4pm.
- Author - Rachel Lebihan