Pop-up café caters to Victoria cycling fans

Televisions will be tuned in at a pop-up coffeehouse in James Bay when this year’s Tour de France riders start racing through the French island of Corsica on June 29.

Victoria resident Jeff George decided to combine his passions for cycling, coffee and beer in setting up the Hub and Spoke coffeehouse and tasting room in the James Bay Plaza during the Tour de France’s 100th birthday.

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There, cyclists and others can cheer on hometown cycling star Ryder Hesjedal during the 3,300-plus-kilometre event, which moves from Corsica to the mainland of France.

George, who has a background in marketing and sales, thinks the novelty of the business — modelled after pop-up retailers that are open for a limited time — will appeal to bike enthusiasts.

“It seems more like an event. I think that’s what is attractive to people,” he said Wednesday.

“There is a limited amount of time that you can enjoy that experience.”

The Hub and Spoke, at 425 Simcoe St., will be open from June 29 to July 21, the final day of the race.

It’s in the location of the now-closed Sips Artisan Bistro, next to Spinnakers Beer and Wine Merchants. George is sub-leasing the space from Spinnakers.

On weekdays, the Hub and Spoke’s overhead sliding garage door will be pulled up between about 5:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

The shop will reopen between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., when cycling-themed beer and wine will be served. Victoria’s 2% Jazz is supplying coffee.

On weekends, the coffeehouse will remain open all day.

Three televisions will be running, and the space has 30 indoor and 12 outdoor seats.

George is using the Hub and Spoke to gauge the viability of a permanent coffeehouse. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how this goes.”

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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