Old Brooklyn continues its rise with hybrid coffee-bicycle shop in the works

Trey Kirchoff has a nose for good coffee and he seeks to spread his love of a good roast with the rest of Cleveland. In 2016, he opened Passengers Café in Ohio City’s Cleveland Hostel, with dreams of opening quality coffee shops all over Cleveland.

“It’s always been my goal to open multiple coffee shops around the city, with each one catering to a different audience,” Kirchoff explains.

The café has been successful, ever since Clevelanders realized it was open to everyone—not just hostel guests. “Once they come through here, they’re in love with it,” he says of his customers. “But we’re still a well-kept secret in Ohio City.”

If Passengers Café caters to the world traveler, Kirchoff is now on to a new audience, albeit one that also values travel. This spring, Kirchoff will partner with Mason Adkins and Berto Huertas of Sixth City Cycles to open Coffee, Coffee, Coffee—a combination coffee shop and bike shop in Old Brooklyn. The new shop will open in the former Familyography space at 4193 Pearl Road.

Trey Kirchhoff, Mason Adkins and Berto HuertasAfter the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation (OBCDC) learned from a survey that residents most wanted to see a coffee shop in their neighborhood, the organization approached Kirchoff about opening Coffee, Coffee, Coffee. “OBCDC showed me the space and offered me a grant to get started,” says Kirchoff. “It’s the hot new city.”

When Kirchoff looked at the 1,200-square-foot space, he realized he needed a partner to keep the shop hopping. Kirchoff talked to his friends involved in books, bikes, and records to see if anyone was interested, and Sixth City Cycles stepped forward.

While Kirchoff was running Passengers Café, Adkins and Huertas have been running Sixth City Cycles out of an Ohio City apartment building basement for the past two-and-a-half years. The three have been friends for a while, so the pairing seemed perfect.

“Cleveland has a great coffee community and a dedicated bicycle community,” explains Kirchoff. "And it’s really new and different to have a full bike shop and a coffee shop experience.”

The coffee shop will sell fresh drip coffee and espresso drinks, Kirchoff’s own specialty seasonal coffee drinks, and locally-made pastries and sandwiches, as well as a selection of used books. On the Sixth City side, Adkins and Huertas will at any given time display a dozen vintage 80s bicycles they've updated with new and custom-made parts; they will also offer full-service bike repairs.

Adkins says the most common type of bike they rework is a 10-speed with dropped handlebars and an antiquated braking system. They fit those bikes with flat, steel handlebars for a more comfortable ride, and a modern, easier-to-use braking system.

“We customize it to what someone’s looking for,” says Adkins, who adds that he is always searching for bikes. “I spend copious hours scouring Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and garage sales for bikes,” he says. “They have the cool color schemes, 80s decals, and are visually interesting.”

Adkins says they service everything from the least expensive bike from Walmart to the highest quality racing bikes. He agrees with Kirchoff that the bike-and-coffee shop concept works. “There’s nowhere else to get coffee at a bike shop,” he says. “A coffee shop and a bike shop overlap pretty much 100 percent. Everyone who rides a bike drinks coffee.”

Adkins adds that Old Brooklyn’s proximity to downtown Cleveland adds to the draw. “If you’re on your way to work, you can come in and drop it off,” he says.

The team didn’t hire a general contractor for the conversion into Coffee, Coffee, Coffee. Instead, they’ve been undertaking the work themselves—installing subway tile, building counters, installing French cleats on the walls, renovating the bathroom, and painting.

“Anything we could tackle or learn to tackle we wanted to do it,” Kirchoff says. “I think we’ve made a pretty spectacular space so far. I really feel that you can sense this is a labor of love.”

When it opens, Kirchoff says the place will have a “tree house aesthetic" with "serious good coffee in a fun environment."  

While they don’t have an official opening date set yet, Adkins says they are hoping for some time in the first quarter—and people are already getting excited. “We’ve gotten a really good reception,” he says. “There’s no way it’s not going to be a fun time.”

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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