DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Bicycle Cafe and Tandem Bar in the Uptown neighborhood will close at the end of the month. Business owners say the closure is partially due to an expensive lease and constant construction in the area.
“To get to year 8, has been a real blessing,” explained Jessica Caoutte, a co-owner of The Denver Bicycle Café.
The business model was unique, serving as a café, bike repair shop and a bar. Over the last eight years, the Bicycle Café expanded with the goal of quality service and highlighting products from Colorado.
“People would come up to us and say bikes, beer, coffee, that’s what I like,” Caouette laughed. “And were like we know. That’s why we did this, we did this for you!”
After Nov. 1, the café will officially close their doors. Caouette said that closure is in part, because of a decline in sales.
“There’s a lot of grief here,” she told CBS4. “We’re sad to leave this neighborhood. We want to stay.”
Caouette says construction next door has created a lack of parking, and has closed their sidewalk for years. That has made the café hard to get to, and has detoured a lot of customers walking through the Uptown neighborhood.
“They end up crossing over at Park Avenue and never cross back,” she explained. “So we stopped getting that general, wander-in traffic.”
Cauoette said another factor in the closure is their lease and rent, is significantly increasing. While she doesn’t see that necessarily as a hard trend, she told CBS4 it seems to be a common story for local businesses trying to make ends meet.
“I do think that we are trying to meet this growing need, this growing population in Denver,” she said. “And I don’t necessarily know if Denver has figured out how to do that.”
The Bicycle Café has many regular customers. Reuben Gregory has been frequenting the business since it opened in 2011. He told CBS4, between the other customers and staff, the café has become family.
“It’s nice to walk in and have them know my name,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of friends. It’s been a second home for a long time.”
On Nov. 1, from 3 p.m. until close, The Bicycle Café will be hosting a goodbye party. They said they will celebrate eight great years with a lot of fun, a commemorative pint glass, and nostalgic items will be auctioned off.
“We want to say goodbye to our customers,” Caouette said. “They have been so great, and we will miss everyone’s support.”