Douglas magazine Aug/Sep 2014 - page 10

10 Douglas
Wheelies
Tosses a Wrench into
Local café Culture
Business wisdom used to be to “know your niche and stay
within it” so you don’t confuse customers. But a startup
Victoria business has revved past the typical concept of a
café — by combining theirs with a motorcycle repair shop.
In addition to running a gourmet café,
owners Jay Pincombe (left) and Joel
Harrison repair motorcycles and rent
out time in the garage, so space- or
tool-challenged motorcyclists can wrench
on their own rides.
By the Numbers
Kathleen Gilbert, film
commissioner of the
Vancouver Island South
Film & Media Commission
estimates the direct amount
spent in Greater Victoria
from the filming of the Fox
drama
Gracepoint
to be
$8-10
million
with
$745,000
spent on
hotels and
$245,000
on
car rentals. The show, which
will air on television this fall,
employed approximately
85
locals full time.
“I don’t know of anything else quite like it in the world,”
says Wheelies co-owner Joel Harrison. “We serve gourmet
sandwiches with local draft beer ... and we can rebuild your
engine from scratch.”
Harrison and Jay Pincombe transformed a “decrepit old
garage” in Rock Bay into a gathering place. Nearly
everything in the space is reclaimed,
refurbished or repurposed. “We
wanted to contribute to Victoria’s
motorcycle culture and create a place
where any motorcyclist would be
comfortable hanging out,” says
Harrison.
But don’t mistake Wheelies for a
biker bar. Since opening this spring, it
has been attracting many locals —
whether they ride or not — who
come for the atmosphere, the new
outdoor patio and the food that is a
niche-buster in itself. Think root-beer-
braised pulled pork on a ciabatta or
the brownie-based ice cream
sandwiches and you get the idea.
Dean Azim
Dean Azim
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