Motorcycle-themed coffee shop runs into opposition

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April 26, 2004 // UPDATED 1:23 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

The Minneapolis Planning Commission has approved the site plan for Betty's Bikes & Buns, 600 E. Hennepin Ave. Thomas Roe proposes converting an old gas station into a coffee shop with a motorcycle theme. Roe said he hoped to open early summer.

At the April 19 public hearing, Dean Schlaak, owner of the newly opened Wilde Roast Caf/, 518 E. Hennepin Ave. in the Nicollet Island/ East Bank neighborhood, said he and his customers worried about the motorcycle noise.

East Bank property owner Paul Jablonski said the coffee shop could attract a lot of motorcyclists similar to Bob's Java Hut, 2651 Lyndale Ave. S., and raised the concern the site had inadequate parking.

Betty's would be located one block outside the East Bank neighborhood, in Marcy-Holmes. Jo Radzwill, a board member of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, asked for a continuance. She said Roe had not shown up for two separate neighborhood's association meetings. Speaking for herself, she said the Planning Commission's approval made the neighborhood review process "meaningless."

Roe publicly apologized for missing the neighborhood meetings and said he would work with the group to address any concerns. "We plan on doing everything that is asked of us," he said. "We don't find it to be unreasonable."

He said he expected to get more BMW and Honda Golden Wing riders. "We don't affiliate with Hog [Harley-Davidson] groups," Roe said.