by Andrew Morrison | The new cycling-themed Musette Caffe is almost ready to go at the foot of the new Modern building at 1325 Burrard Street. I looked in on progress last week with co-owner Thomas Eleizequi, chefs Tret Jordan and Jennifer Belbeck, and barista Dohon Chow, all of whom were excited at the prospect of the end in sight after a long delay. The busy design team at Ste. Marieare in charge of the aesthetic, which is coming together nicely (see also Savio Volpe, Kissa Tanto, Pidgin, among many others). Thomas explained that some of the things I saw weren’t staying (eg. bike wheel chandeliers), but the details that were locked in – like the communal table tops sourced from a 1930s Antwerp velodrome and a seating area modelled after the cyclist changing room stalls made famous by the cobblestone-famed Paris Roubaix race – were pretty cool. Also, let’s hear it for that classical coffered wood ceiling!
The counter service cafe will seat 56 inside when it opens on January 2nd. Expect another 48 outdoor seats. The kitchen will be serving up soups, salads and sandwiches made with Sicilian style muffaletta loaves (for carboloarding cyclists) while the coffee program will kick off with Pallet beans. There are two flatscreen TVs as well as a projector/screen set up for race events (the massive windows will have automated blackout screens). Opening hours are being set thus: 7am to 8pm – possibly expanded for summer. Weekend brunches will be a big thing. As I’ve noted before, the location is ideally suited to the concept, as the corner of Burrard and Harwood is right on the down slope of the Burrard bike lane that leads to Burrard St. Bridge, the seawall, and Kitsilano — perfectly situated to catch the morning and afternoon bike commute crowd.