Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Will there someday be a "bike-in" restaurant just around the bend?

A Quiet Moment on the Southwest Bike Path, November 22, 2009
This is the Southwest Bike Path between Glenway and Commonwealth. Just a little way beyond the bend, between the path and Glenway Golf Course, Madison restaurateur Chris Berge would like to build an environmentally-friendly bike path restaurant that's inaccessible by car, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Chris Berge, co-owner of Restaurant Magnus, the Weary Traveler and Natt Spil and cofounder of Barriques and the Blue Marlin, plans to build a bike-path-bound cafe on the city's Near West Side that would be inaccessible by car, serve local food, produce zero garbage and cater to the city's burgeoning bicycle population.

Described as "a hobbit hole meets the American Players Theatre meets a 1950s National Park recreational area," the "Badger Den" would be a "bike-in" bar and grill open from April through October.
It sounds like a great idea, but I wonder if it will fly. Is there enough traffic? Despite the rustic sylvan look of the path in summer, Monroe Street with its restaurants and the Laurel Tavern are just a couple blocks away via bike-friendly side streets, and the Village Bar is just up Glenway at the other end of the golf course. Would neighbors take a nimby approach, worried about increased bike traffic? Will other objections surface? This is Madison, after all.

The Mayor, for one, does seem to be on board.
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said the cafe would be consistent with what the city has been doing to encourage bicycling.

"I think it's fascinating idea," Cieslewicz said. "We'd love to work with him on it."
I wish Berge luck. It's a beautiful bike path, and although I more often ride along the lakes because I like the sight of water, the prospect of a tall, cool one along the path just might change my habits.

1 comment:

k*thy said...

I'm torn. I'm all for convenience, but as an avid biker and runner on that stretch of path, I think I'm drawn to it because for a short while I can enjoy some degree of quiet, cool, wooded, secluded setting in the middle of the city. There's a nice stretch of woods there that I enjoy, as it is. And it seems to me there'd be a lot of disruption with deliveries and higher people densities in the immediate area.