Adding to the delicious mix of new breweries, distilleries and restaurants that have opened in North Kansas City over the last few years, is a new spot opening this week that plans to bring bicycles and beer together in a meaningful way.
Kiley Sutter is opening Velo Garage & Tap House in a building that had sat vacant for years where he will mix bicycle repair and sales with a beer bar and taproom.
This new location will be the headquarters and clubhouse for fans of his VeloWagon, a 1969 baby blue Volkswagon bus, that Sutter has taken to festivals and bike rides for the last two years that served as a mobile bike repair and beer tap operation.
“I had always planned to open my brick and mortar store first, and use the VeloWagon as my mobile marketing tool,” says Sutter. “But, when I found the bus first, I decided to use it as proof of concept.”
Now he and business partner, Steve Borden, planned to open Velo Garage and Tap House with the bike repair shop operated by Vincent Rodriguez, owner of Velo + and Maps Coffee Roasters.
“When I met Kiley, he needed some bicycle mechanic training with his VeloWagon operation and he spent a couple of months with Velo +,” says Rodriguez.
When Sutter decided to open Velo Garage and Tap House, he approached Rodriguez to handle the bike repair side of the business, so he could remain focused on the beverage side.
“I had intended to grow and open more Velo + stores, and although I consider the taproom the anchor of this new location, it still allows me to open a second location in an area where we need another bicycle shop,” says Rodriguez.
The two entrepreneurs share not only the same vision of mashing up various interests like beverages and bikes into the same business, but they also share the use of the word “velo” which means “bike” in Latin.
“Vincent is a good friend, and we see eye to eye on how to make our passions our business,” says Sutter. “We both liked the word “velo,” but we are not part of the same company.”
The tap house is open to anyone, and can seat almost 100 people, offering 10 beers on tap with more available by the bottle or can, and snacks from local artisan nut company, Dēz Nüts, along with pretzels.
Maps Coffee will also be served for those looking for more of a caffeine buzz, than a beer buzz.
The new tap house can be used as a place to end after a long ride, a place for meetings or gathering with friends or as simply a place to wait for a quick bike repair.
There is also plans for a rooftop deck, and Sutter hopes to get it finished and open before the end of the year.
He says once he gets his doors this week, he plans to start hosting his own cycling club, bike rides and tap house events, now that he has his permanent storefront.
“It is all coming full circle for me, I will have this permanent home for my bike repair and beer hall business, and I will continue to rent out the VeloWagon for private parties, corporate rides and more,” says Sutter.
Velo Garage & Tap House, 1403 Swift Street, North Kansas City, Missouri, 816.491.8174, velowagonkc.com