Rebecca Davis Oct 10, 2023 |
After pivoting from his previous work in architecture, Gerhardt was ambitious about bringing a combination coffee shop to St. Louis, which led him to open CB&C in 2017. He says the pairing of coffee and cycling is a more familiar concept in larger cities, where the two seem to go hand in hand. There are only a handful of similar shops in the St. Louis area, but for some bicyclists, a quick tune-up and an espresso go well together. Gerhardt can speak from experience: “I always ended up at a coffee shop, or people would come into work on their bikes and then go get a coffee,” he says. “The [spaces] both draw very similar kinds of people.”
Situated in the same building as Taco Buddha, CB&C offers a range of coffee shop favorites, including lattes, pour-overs, smoothies, chai and several hot tea flavors. Seasonal syrups are created by the baking crew, and it regularly offers rotating drink specials. In an effort to provide the best drink possible, the shop’s baristas use a manual espresso machine and house-roasted beans, which ensures quality in every cup.
For Gerhardt, excellence comes first in every aspect of his business. Even the shop’s baked goods – muffins, cookies and gluten-free and vegan options – are crafted in-house and made from scratch. Though the business isn’t solely meant for cyclists, Gerhardt hopes the sight of bikes will at least inspire guests to think about using the bikes that may be gathering dust in their garages. “People come in for coffee, they see bikes, they’re talking about bikes – they start thinking about the bike they haven’t ridden for a couple years,” he says.
But it’s not all about the coffee, bikes or their one-of-a-kind fusion. According to Gerhardt, the community is the most crucial element of CB&C. “The goal is to try to be a community gathering space – to have as good of a product as possible and to serve the community as much as possible,” he says. Upholding these high standards while also creating a comforting neighborhood space has allowed the business to draw in a series of regulars, bike riders, community members and families who keep coming back. “There have been people who come in every morning and sit in the couches and chairs who’ve been doing it for years now,” Gerhardt says. In an area awash in well-marked bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, it’s no wonder the shop has woven itself into the cultural fabric of University City.
And the community can expect much more from the team behind CB&C – Gerhardt recently acquired the iconic and longstanding A&M Cyclery. He has no plans to change the name or the game of this St. Louis staple but hopes to incorporate food and drink on a larger scale into the building in the near future.
The café at Cursed Bikes & Coffee is open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bike side of the business is open on weekdays from noon to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Follow the shop on Instagram for more information.