A bike-centered coffee shop opened Saturday next to Batch Bakehouse on Williamson Street.
Dan Coppola opened Cafe Domestique, decorated with bicycles, at 1408 Williamson St. The Cargo Bike Shop is getting ready to open next door, specializing in cargo, family, utility and electric-assist bikes.
The cafe is using coffee from Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters and sweet and savory bakery from next door. Coppola calls Batch the logical choice. "They are great neighbors to have," he said.
The shop doesn't serve sandwiches, but Coppola said that Batch's gruyere croissants have been a big seller.
Coppola, 34, comes from the cycling industry, working for Trek Bicycles for a number of years, then managing cycling events and drinking "a lot of coffee along the way."
He and his wife worked for a bicycle-vacation company for 10 years, and most recently spent four years in Boulder, Colorado. Coppola grew up in Madison and when he moved back he realized there wasn't really any one spot that was a good meeting place for local cyclists. He envisioned somewhere cyclists could meet after rides and watch the Tour de France in July.
"We were excited to open something that accommodated those needs," Coppola said.
His friend Tim Staton is opening The Cargo Bike Shop next door and having a friends-and-family event this weekend.
When they started looking for spaces for their businesses, Coppola said it made sense for them to be in the same location. He calls the Willy Street spot the "best of both worlds," with two separate storefronts that are connected inside.
The coffee shop has 16 seats, but eventually seating will spill into the bike shop next door as well, Coppola said.
The space last held Creative Energy Products, but landlord Common Wealth did a lot of work improving the space before Domestique moved in, including renovating the facade.
Domestique is an affectionate term for a racer on a cycling team who works to help the team leader win a race. "If you look at the Tour de France, for instance, every team shows up with nine team members, but only one guy can actually win," Coppola said.
The other team members provide a draft for the leader or make trips to the team car to pick up food and water bottles. "Our philosophy at the coffee shop is we really want to be that support network for the cycling community in Madison."
The shop intends to host events, including rides. Batch, at 1402 Williamson St., used to house the bike shop Cronometro, a big meeting spot for rides.