Tacoma bikers have a new place to hang out on Hilltop. No, not “Sons of Anarchy” bikers. Owner Ben Davis envisions Broken Spoke as ground zero for Tacoma's burgeoning community of bicycle enthusiasts; the type of “bikers” that play polo by Harmon Tap Room and go on pedal-powered pub crawls with local clubs the Skid Kings and Tacoma Mob Riders. The new custom bike shop/bar, located at 1014 S. Martin Luther King Way, is a cozy 2,000-square-feet with his studio in back and a bar for serving canned, craft beer and gourmet coffee out front. “This is something I'm trying to do to give cyclists a place to go and hang out,” Davis says. “For all the guys who work at bike shops all day, (this is) a place to come and kick back, toss down a couple of beers and talk.”
Davis learned to build custom bikes at the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Ore., and ran Bicycles West in Burien for four years before opening a home studio in Tacoma. He plans to invite other local builders to use his new, public space on weekends, the type of cooperation he found uncommon in cutthroat Seattle. “It's a night and day difference,” he says. “It's an extremely tight knit community. I think it's because Tacoma's not so big that it enables everyone to work together instead of being each other's competition.” Davis will also invite guest baristas to serve gourmet coffee blends from around the Northwest on weekends. But when it comes to beer the policy is no bottles allowed. Broken Spoke will start out with 20 brands of canned brew. “The original reason why I was into cans was I rode BMX for a long time,” Davis explains. “And when we would go build trails you would pack your cans in and you would pack your cans out. Packin' bottles doesn't get you anywhere; you get broken bottles and wet backpacks.” Davis hasn't established opening hours but says the venue will close daily at 11 p.m. Its web will be at http://BrokenSpokeTacoma.com.