Pedal & Spoke Cafe
The new Pedal & Spoke Café opens today in the premises recently vacated by Blue Earth and a chat with owners, long time St Francis Bay residents, Dave and Karen Hallam, it looks like they have unearthed a gem.
Dave, recently retired from his engineering business and Karen having closed down her landscaping business, decided they needed something to keep them occupied and were considering options when Blue Earth came up for sale. And so the hard work began transforming the venue with a new look, deciding on the menu and training kitchen staff in preparation for the grand opening today.
Asked what inspired the name, Karen said they were initially thinking something ‘French or Italian’. Remembering an old bicycle that the previous owners had displayed outside the shop they enquired if it was still around but unfortunately the bike had long disappeared. With the bicycle back of mind, Karen, sitting having her hair done, was paging through a magazine and saw beautiful murals of bicycles painted on a wall. More bicycles in back of mind? Finally during a trip to Johannesburg where they walked into a shop with metal bicycles on the walls the idea finally germinated. With bicycles constantly cropping up in their thought processes and considering the large number of cyclists in St Francis the theme materialized and finally the name – Pedal & Spoke.
The Menu was developed by Karen’s son, Stuart Duffin who is a professional chef having schooled at SA Chef School under Garth Stroebel and Paul Hartmann. After a stint at the 5-Star 12 Apostles in Cape Town, Stuart decided to venture overseas and presently works as the sous chef on a super yacht. So Dave and Karen called in his expertise to create a menu and train the staff, all of whom were previously worked with the previous owner thus no jobs were thankfully lost in the transition.
Dave has put his engineering skill to good use and has done most of the interior work including making all the furniture and installing all the fittings. Not having joined in the interview with Anne as he was busy putting the final touches to the decor, one of Dave’s only comments during our visit was from atop a ladder and was “I’ve never worked so hard in my life, engineering was definitely easier”.
And so to the menu!
It is always satisfying to see effort put into a menu, not only in the choice of dishes on offer but also in naming of dishes, especially where the venue is themed as is the case with the Pedal & Spoke. The menu is delightful and intriguing with the menu cover complimenting the name with a message “Enjoy the Ride”. And the prices are good with the “Little Spoke” breakfast just R35, the “Big Spoke” R50 and the “Tour de France”, a continental choice priced on your selection. Light lunches are on offer different wraps to salads to burgers, including an ostrich and brie patty topped with sweet onion jam, rocket and cranberry sauce.
Naturally coffee is an important component and Pedal & Spoke has selected Illy, that of Espresso fame, with coffee choices ranging from filter through to cappuccino, latte and of course espresso and double espresso among the selection. And tea drinkers are not forgotten and also have a choice of different blends. For the health nuts (meant in an endearing way) there is a good selection of fresh juices and smoothies.
One of the first things that one notices when entering Pedal & Spoke is the catchy Penny-farthing logo and the rather cute steel bicycles hung tastefully on the walls. Our visit was a little too early for them to have yet set up the tables and chairs and no doubt Dave and Karen would have worked late into the night ensuring the tyres were pumped and the chain well-oiled for today’s opening, but it certainly looks an inviting venue to sit and enjoy a meal and a cup of the finest.
There is no doubt Pedal & Spoke is about to become a popular venue and a welcomed addition to St Francis Bay dining options. St Francis Today wishes Dave and Karen all the very best in this exciting venture and will certainly be visiting soon to savour “The Benedict Cycle” of two poached eggs on sourdough with smoked salmon and homemade hollandaise sauce.