One sign of Seattle’s bikeability is its array of bicycle shops offering a bike to fit every style of rider and services to meet the needs of a diverse cliental. Most likely there is a bike shop in your neighborhood or very close by. This column will be featuring Seattle’s bicycle shops. Watch for yours in upcoming weeks.
Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood has become quite trendy in just a very few years. With that have grown both venues for socializing as well as the variety of bicycle shops. Seattle’s Dutch Bike Company is unique among the myriad of possibilities in the city. While bike shopping or waiting for repairs, patrons can have espresso, lunch or even a breakfast of homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy served up by Missing Link Cafe owner, Julie Kloss.
Dutch Bike Company - Seattle was founded by Kloss and husband, David Schmidt. The shop’s original location was just off 14th Ave NW on Shilshole Ave. Then, as now, the shop was near the “missing link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail. That building was small and poorly heated so when Schmidt and Kloss were presented with sharing the soon-to-be developed Kolstrand building, they began brainstorming. This much better facility would mean an increase in rent. According to Kloss, Schmidt came up with the idea of incorporating Kloss’s cooking and baking skills into the business with a cafe. The “Missing Link” Cafe was born.
Biscuits and gravy are a Friday morning special, but coffee is available daily provided by Kloss’s personally hired and trained baristas. The cafe though small is light and roomy accented by the Delphian wallpaper behind the front counter. In addition to tables, there is seating fronting a large picture window. Enhancing the European ambience, when the weather warms, the Missing Link takes on the atmosphere of a sidewalk cafe.
Though the cafe and shop is away from the active Ballard scene with limited pedestrian traffic, Kloss began by focusing on their neighboring businesses and industry. Three businesses are upstairs, Seattle Hardware is right next door. Kloss’s focus on quality baked goods and coffee compliments the quality bicycles featured by Dutch Bike Company. The Missing Link Cafe comfortably fits that European model whether serving coffee, beer or wine; it fosters relaxation and conversation.