One of the coolest things about my job is the unique events I get to go to and the cool places I get to visit. The thing that really tops this off is the immense people that I get to meet on my travels. Thursday evening was one of those occasions, when I made the couple of hour trip down to an industrial estate in Shoreham-by-sea for the launch party of a very cool motorcycle shop. This is the new home of The Café Racer, a one stop shop for all of your vintage and retro style biking gear and clothing.
Ok, so I’ll admit that an industrial estate doesn’t exactly scream fashionista. In fact, the lifeless, non-descript warehouses that loom large as I drive up to Unit B4 on Evershed Way (yes drive, it is way too cold for a late night, 100 mile return journey on the two wheeler) are less than inspiring. But in a corner of this dark grey space there is a glimmer of light and the unmistakeable outline of motorcycles through the darkness.
This place is cool, I mean proper, not trying to be cool, effortless cool. What’s more it’s friendly too. I’ve been invited down this evening by one of the guys who works in the shop, Rory, who I have only met the once at the Bikeshed expo earlier in the year. He’s nowhere to be seen as I let myself in through the door, but no matter, as straight away bossman Phil says hello, offers me a beer and all is well with the world. Before I know it, people are introducing themselves, handshakes are being exchanged and so ensues an evening of talking bikes, bikes and more bikes.
As well as the chat, the range of gear is pretty fantastic as well. From boots to lids this place has you covered regardless of which bits of vintage apparel you prefer. There’s footwear from Stylemartin, awesome Rokker Jeans, Keytone and Biltwell mitts, every style of jacket you could ever want and a mega range of helmets in stock and even more available to order in. Of course, the latest Bell Lid is the latest Bell lid wherever you buy it and the guys in the shop all seem to be pretty aware of that. What strikes me about this place though is that for the whole team a sale seems secondary, they work here because they love the café and vintage scene, the shop is just a place to immerse themselves in that.
But why waste your time with reading my opinion when you could actually just get down there and check it out? If you want to have a nose at some cool gear in an environment where you can grab a coffee and have a chat with other like minded petrol heads, you could certainly do much worse. Plus, there’s ample parking at the new premises for bikes and cars! You just can’t go wrong. I’m looking forward to the better weather coming so I can have a trip down on two wheels instead of four, for a coffee and a chat. Well I say coffee and a chat, but as I walk away from what has been a great evening, the mental shopping list I’ve drawn up is pretty big. Ah well, you can’t take it with you, right?
You can find The Café Racer at: Unit B4, Dolphin Enterprise Centre, Evershed Way, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 6QB
Or on the web here – The Café Racer