Rapha Cycle Club NYC: The Rise Of The Urban Bike Cafe?
High end cycle clothing label Rapha establishes a popup lounge as a cyclist hangout.
For anyone passionate about bicycling, the month of July is an especially important one. The Tour de France takes place over the course of 20+ days during the month. This year New Yorkers have a new dedicated venue to follow all of the action in the peloton. Opening right before the Tour began, the Rapha Cycle Club NYC is a popup cafe/shop/gallery that caters to both two wheel fanatics and those looking to lounge with a cup of coffee and watch some racing.
We spoke with the Mike Spriggs, manager at the RCC who said the the real intention of the space is to serve as a gathering spot and lounge. He mentioned that there really isn’t a place where cyclists and fans can gather to share their enthusiasm for the sport. The layout of the Rapha Cycle Club really strives to promote this idea. Bike shops haven’t really done a good job embracing the social side of cycling.
Right inside the door is a ‘bike rack’ with slots denoting the heights of major climbs on the Tour de France route. Adjacent to that are stools and large table covered with a tour map and statistics. Guests can watch continuous coverage of the Tour de France on two 52-inch monitors. Third Rail Coffee has set up a cafe which serves breakfast and fresh Stumptown coffee all day. Free WiFi service is also available.
Towards the back of the space is the retail area occupied by a vintage Citroen panel truck. The shop area contains a selection of Rapha’s high end cycling apparel. The line has a distinctively retro look hearkening back to the cycling styles of the 60’s and 70’s. They also have a gallery area which will feature rotating exhibitions of cycling photography.
With the Tour de France moving into the Pyrenees this weekend it is a good time to check the space out and catch a stage. Rapha also hosts weekly group rides departing from the space and shows mid week bicycling themed movies.
Rapha Cycle Club
352 Bowery btw Great Jones and E 4th St.
New York, NY
Open thru October 2010