City Desk

Bikes and Beans, Co-Existing

Bike House, Qualia Coffee Still Partners

The space behind Qualia Coffee used to be a drab passageway to an alley running parallel to Georgia Avenue NW. So it made sense that the Petworth coffee shop began hosting The Bike House's weekly bicycle clinics—what else were people going to do in the back yard?

But Qualia opened a new patio behind the shop three weeks ago. Which, in the Hollywood story of the plucky bike repair co-op, might have been bad news. (Though for a movie, some big corporate chain would have to be involved, instead of an independent neighborhood coffee shop.)

Not to worry, though—Qualia owner  Joel Finkelstein confirms that The Bike House’s clinic, on Saturdays between noon and 3 p.m., is here to stay. The new outdoor space won’t push the repair clinic out.

“As far as I am concerned, they will continue to be welcome as long as they want to use the space,” he says by email. “We put the patio together in such a way as to give us flexibility and to accommodate the clinic's needs.”

Bike House spokesman Dan Crawford says one volunteer now arrives early to help move the new tables and chairs. Other than that, the clinic at Qualia is operating normally every Saturday.

"As the Bike House continues to grow and take on more projects, like classes, mobile clinics and other events, we're always on the lookout for a permanent space that would allow us to do even more," Crawford says. "But Joel and the whole crew at Qualia have been a great partner, and we're planning to continue operating there for the foreseeable future."

The Bike House suggests a $5 donation for each visit to its repair clinic.

Photo by Ethan Woods via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license

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  • One Tree Hill

    what a fantastic idea!