It’s got a cycle-related name, for sure, and its strapline is ‘coffee, burgers, cycling’, but on visiting this new Holloway Road pub conversion, it’s a bit tricky to tell where the bike connection is. There’s no workshop, no big screen showing cycling events, no bike gear on sale, not even any themed decoration. There are no indoor racks either – mine was the only bike in evidence, and I had to just leave it in a corner which, in a busy place, wasn’t ideal.
So is Spoke just a shameless attempt to cash in on London’s cycling boom? Maybe, but all the same it’s a great place whether you arrive on two feet or two wheels (or four – there were plenty of prams).
The former pub has been brightened up and fitted with an open kitchen at the centre of the action. Chefs knock out brunch classics, a few specials (pork shoulder sandwich, macaroni cheese) and the abovementioned burgers: beef, chicken or a prawn po’ boy sandwich, which is a Deep South classic made here with wasabi mayonnaise.
As well as a serious coffee offer (filter is ‘coming soon’, we were told in May 2014), there’s wine and beer – making this a place to linger. But it’s no pitstop if you’re on a bike.