Editor's note: This story was originally published on July 27, 2022. We're resharing the story on Aug. 3, 2022 because Hello Bicycle's cafe is now open.
Bike shop Hello Bicycle is opening a cafe on Wednesday, Aug. 3!
The Hello Bicycle team, Sam Lettes, Jordan Lewis and Marc Padilla, grew up riding bikes around the Shadow Hills neighborhood near Tucson’s north side.
“It was pragmatic at the time: you don't have a driver's license but you have friends who you can ride with,” Sam said. When Sam moved to Seattle, he noticed the combination of bike shops and cafes across the city.
“There’s something about bikes that you just develop a natural community,” he said. “Seeing cyclists around, you’re kind of part of the same thing. A coffee shop also has that. They both have the same atmosphere of people hanging out under one shared experience.”
“We’re not trying to create a pretext of a certain kind of community as much as a space where people can bring their experiences,” he said. “The second you’re in it, you start to get it.”
While the espresso bar will offer a range of traditional drinks: lattes, mochas, espressos and cappuccinos, they’ll also have pour-over coffee and a limited selection of teas. The beans will be locally sourced from Yellow Brick Coffee.
When it comes to the vegan pastries from Houlden’s, “We’re not sure what our regular menu will be,” he said. They’ll keep some favorites on regular rotation alongside a chef’s choice from baker Hannah Houlden.
“The cruffin is so good!” Sam said with conviction. “Morning buns are amazing. The chocolate chip cookies are on regular rotation in my belly.”
Sam opened the original iteration of Hello Bicycle, which also does bike repairs, in Seattle. When it came time to expand, he wanted to bring the bike shop — and cafe combo — home to Tucson.
“As a small business in Seattle, it was hard to expand. When I moved there it was a different city. I always knew I’d come back to Tucson and I didn’t know when,” he said.
“When you’re in Seattle, you miss the sun. I missed Tucson because it always has that small city feel, but a big city vibe to it. It’s hard to explain. It’s home.”
Hello Bicycle + Cafe
Location: 3702 E. Hardy Dr.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The bike shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.
For more information, check out their website.