5 August 2013

Cycling themed cafe to open on The Level

Work is at an advanced stage for the opening of the city’s first cycling themed café at The Level.

The news that new business Velo has been offered the lease on the eco-café marks the latest development in Brighton & Hove City Council’s £2.3 million restoration of The Level, and promises to be an exciting addition to the city’s café culture.

Councillor Pete West, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “The restoration of The Level is one of the most exciting and significant projects undertaken in the city in recent years and I am delighted that we are able to offer our residents the city’s first cycling café as part of this project.

“What impressed us about Velo’s bid was the emphasis on sustainable food sourcing, fresh produce and affordable prices, alongside the exciting cycling theme.”

Run by a team of local entrepreneurs, headed by Nigel Lambe co-owner of Small Batch Coffee Company, café ‘Velo’ will combine a cycling theme with great coffee and outstanding food.

The new single-storey café has high sustainability credentials including a green wildlife-friendly roof, solar thermal and PV panels, air source heating and a rainwater harvesting system.

The building, occupying a highly visible position at the heart of the park adjacent to the restored and re-landscaped Rose Walk, will feature glass doors opening out onto a substantial dining terrace on three sides.

Its positioning enables visitors to look out over the rest of the park, particularly the southern area with its new sensory gardens, water fountains, children’s play areas, restored pavilions, bridges and pergolas.

With its cycling theme, the café will undoubtedly become a haven for cyclists, but Nigel and his team are committed to creating a ‘community hub’ which will be appealing to residents and their families, visitors and commuters.

“From grabbing a coffee on the way to work to, bringing the kids back at the weekend for a drink and a bite to eat - Velo will be accessible and fun for everyone,” said Nigel.

“We’ll make a simple promise to our customers - to deliver a high quality experience at every level and be accessible to all.

“It’s more about our attitude to a healthy and active lifestyle, than about the Lycra!

“In common with our other local businesses, we will strive to source local products wherever possible and create long term employment both within our cafes and the wider supply chain.”

Velo will be providing a varied menu, at prices which will appeal to everyone. Staff are committed to working with the council and Garden Manager in supporting the community and future activities in the park.

The café is expected to be open by the end of September, although the restored south end of the park including the playground and the new skatepark which recently re-opened to the public.


Notes for editors

Velo will be operated by a new company ‘Velo Cafes Limited.’
Velo Cafes Limited was chosen to take on the lease for the café after an informal tender process, which was marketed through Cluttons as agent to the city council
Velo Cafes Limited is a company formed specifically to operate the café, and includes specialists in catering, marketing and architecture.
The restored park is expected to attract more than 200,000 visitors a year, many of them using the café while taking part in various volunteer-led activities being organised and run by the city council in conjunction with the community www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/joinusonthelevel
The restoration of the park, which includes the new café, is funded by a £2.3m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. This is in recognition of the long and rich cultural and social history of the park, which was laid out formally in 1822, and its significance to the city
The council is working with community representatives to plan a grand celebration opening event for The Level for September. www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/thelevel