Many delight in discovering just how bicycle-friendly Paris is. With a network of over 1,500 bike rental stations and designated bike lanes protected from traffic, the city is not exactly subtle in encouraging this type of eco-transport. In addition, Paris City Hall recently announced their intentions to make Paris the “world capital of cycling” by rolling out a multi-million euro campaign that will stretch out over the next five years, which will include adding fifty miles of new bike lanes throughout the city. With Paris taking the reigns in two-wheel inter-city travel, Steel, a new boutique café located in the 11th arrondissement makes for a clever addition to the concept shop boom.
Started as a cycling magazine of the same name, Steel has developed into a full-blown brand with founder Marc “Sich” Schmitt at the helm of its evolution. Born and raised in Paris with half-American roots, he was inspired by the cycling café scene that pervades progressive West Coast American cities like Portland and San Francisco, and was determined to import this urban community culture back to his hometown of Paris.
Located off a discreet side street in Paris’ Oberkampf neighborhood, Steel welcomes bicycle enthusiasts, local residents, and café connoisseurs to its home of two months. The layout of the shop is divided into two parts: to the left is the café offering freshly brewed Belleville Brûlerie coffee and homemade sandwiches and cakes from Broken Biscuits, and to the right is the boutique boasting a curated selection of specialized performance gear that is also available for purchase through the brand’s e-shop. The clean aesthetic of the shop visualized by designer Julie Deglesne keeps the focus on cycling. With its whitewashed details, pale wood tabletops, and geometric tiling, the eye naturally falls on the steel-framed bike that hangs over the café as a tie-in to the concept.
Differentiating themselves from the profusion of design- and quality-focused cafés popping up in Paris, Steel proffers fair prices on haute lunchtime fare. Clients are invited to enjoy a generous 10€ formule of a coffee + sandwich + dessert, and à la carte sandwiches are 7€, cake slices are 3.50€, salads are 6.5€, and coffees range from 3-4€.
With a bike club in the works (tools and pumps are already available for client use) and a newly implemented liquor license where cyclists can enjoy a cold Brooklyn Lager after a long course, Steel —with already a reputation for its innovation by in-the-know Parisians — is destined to be a niche hub for the expanding Paris cycling community.
Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop – 58 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011. Tel: +33 (0)6 47 58 32 46
- Are you a fan of Paris’s new set of concept coffee shops? Don’t miss the others in our concept coffee shop roundup!
- For more recent additions to the Paris coffee scene, check out some of the latest offerings of excellent joe.
- Find out even more about Steel in this T Magazine article written by Lindsey Tramuta of Lost in Cheeseland.