From mid-July, community cycle café Roll for the Soul will take over Café Central, on Quay Street in the city centre.
The not-for-profit combined café, bike shop and workshop will open to coincide with the fourth edition of the Bristol Cycle Festival. Hosting cycle-related events, it will also advocate for cycling. Any surplus revenue will support and promote cycling in Bristol, in partnership with other social enterprises including the Bristol Bike Project and the Festival.
Roll for the Soul raised almost £13,000 towards its start-up costs through Crowdfunder, achieving an at-the-time highest total of any project funded through the platform.
A driving force behind the project is Rob Wall. He said: “We fell in love with the Quay Street premises immediately. It was tough finding an affordable central location with the facilities we need to serve good food and drink and accommodate the bike side of things.
“But Quay Street is a great location for cyclists, commuters and visitors from all corners. It’s bang in the centre of town and is a continuation of Nelson Street, home to 2012’s urban art extravaganza, See No Evil.”
Cycle blogger and former Sustrans employee Kerry O’Neill added: “Roll for the Soul is going to be by cyclists, for cyclists. They’ll understand exactly what cyclists need – and by that I mean I’m expecting large portions of delicious, calorie-tastic cakes and the like – and will be able to fix your steed of steel while you wait. Roll on Roll for the Soul!”
Fellow Bristol cyclist Sam Howard is the co-founder of Beds for Cyclists. He said: “There seems to be a groundswell of positivity behind cycling in Bristol at the moment.
“Beds for Cyclists has really taken off this year and we’ll be more than happy to promote Roll for the Soul to our users and followers to help spread the great news about its launch. The more cyclists, and the more facilities for them, the better.”
Antony de Heveningham is on the Bristol Cycle Festival committee. He said: “I organise Bristol Trails Group, which maintains the mountain bike tracks in Ashton Court and Leigh Woods, as well as sitting on the Bristol Cycle Festival committee.
“Roll for the Soul is just what Bristol needs, and it’s being run by a fantastic, motivated, community-minded bunch of individuals. I’ve worked with Rob on several projects in the past and it’s evident that this café is about people and their love of and interest in bikes. It’s a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that cares about spreading the love, not racking up the cash.
“I wish them all the best and look forward to enjoying a few Bristol Cycle Festival events there during this year’s edition in mid-July.”
Wall added: “We’ve got everything crossed that this goodwill continues when Roll for the Soul opens on Quay Street in a couple of months. Anyone who’s yet to claim their Crowdfunding reward, pop down to say hello and we’ll be delighted to get those complementary coffees on the go.”