Friday, September 30, 2011

Maglianero Cafe

I tried another visit to Maglianero, a cafe quasi bike riders' hangout on the ground floor of the Jager Di Paola Kemp advertising building. Just a few yards off the waterfront bike path there are two ways to approach the cafe: one is through an alley and down stairs; I chose the pedaling route, through a well-used partial dirt parking lot - unfortunately just as a truck rumbled past, kicking up dust. It seemed appropriate that Terry Bicycles new headquarters' office space was on the left.

The loading dock-type entrance brings you to this non-descript door. The bicycle ramp is a nice touch...

...though I had to wait for a car to back out to use it. Obviously, there could be some improvement here, or the nearby handicap ramp could be marked for bikes.

Inside, I like the innovative bike rack, using a u-shaped configuration of pipes suspended from the ceiling. Hook the seat over the tubing and it's amazingly stable. No worry about locking your bike or getting scratches from a traditional steel rack. The place provides a stand up pump for public use.

The decor is sparse, as in concrete, brick, and exposed duct work. The feel is cavernous. Not exactly cozy, yet spartan enough to find a quiet corner away from others and peck away on my blog - free WIFI. A large conference table, a lending library, a corner with skateboard ramps, a public shower, outside secure bike parking, all are unusual amenities for a cafe until I realized that this place is geared for meetings and to encourage the use of bicycles as transportation. A calendar hangs on the wall to promote events; next up is a Tweed Ride.

I tried their basic coffee, Black Jersey Blend (Maglianero means"black jersey"). It was a generous sized cup and so yummy that I went back for another. At 50 cents a refill, it was a bargain.

The coffee selection is intriguing, but the pastries could be more extensive. Vegan options abound though the ubiquitous muffins, croissants, and cinnamon rolls were non-existent. The Montreal bagels are yummy, if somewhat unattractive and a bit burned, but they are local, dependable, and cheap. Disappointingly the cafe didn't have any butter. The staff was friendly, especially the chap in wool cycling cap.

I like the premise of the cafe: to support commuters and provide meeting space. A few plants would spiff up the concrete decor. Rock and Roll at 8:30 am is a bit much; a variety of music would appeal to a broader clientele. The space shows promise and, having only opened since May, has plenty of room to grow and should evolve over time. The coffee itself is enough to draw me in for another look.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting Cafe indeed. I like their philosophy and their poetic interpretation of bike mobility and the importance of having a place to meet. I'd definitely go back again and again for the coffee.


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