Velo Cafe at the DC Wharf for Coffee, Cocktails, and Pie!
Velo Cafe at the DC Wharf is a cafe in the truest meaning of the word. Like most European cafes, Velo serves coffee, espresso, tea, light food, and alcohol. However, unlike most European cafes, Velo is situated in a hardware store and bike shop.
Lauren Conway, Director of Operations, says that many of Velo’s customers come to get their bike fixed, and discover the cafe or the hardware store, or vice-versa. Like District Hardware and Bike, Velo Cafe is a Conway family business that includes Lauren, her father Neil and brother Jarrett.
Velo’s fanbase is growing and the secret is getting out that it is a great meeting place for coffee or drinks any time of the day. Many of the customers are from the local SW neighborhood, others find their way down from one of the Wharf hotels, or are just visiting for the day.
Velo Cafe has a full selection of hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks. The coffee beans come from a local roaster, Vigilante Coffee Company of Hyattsville, Md. Not only does Vigilante roast beans, it has a training center where many of Velo’s employees have gone for either beginner or advanced barista training.
Lauren is passionate about Velo’s relationship with Vigilante and for good reason, the coffee is delicious. She is equally passionate and proud of her food vendors who are also locally sourced.
- Bethesda Bagels supplies a variety of bagels fresh daily.
- Wellfound Foods of Ivy City provides grab-and-go food including breakfast and lunch sandwiches and salads.
- Souk, located on Barracks Row, provides fresh pastries.
- ACME Pie Company of Arlington, bakes and delivers fresh pies like the blackberry-lime and the sour cherry with streusel topping. Lauren says, that sweet potato pie and apple pie are on order for the fall season.
Velo has a surprisingly strong line-up of craft beer on tap and in cans and bottles. Local breweries such as Manor Hill, Denizens, and Union Craft can all be found at Velo for about $5 or $6. There is also wine by the glass and bottle, and seasonal cocktails.
Lauren says that while there are lots of places at the Wharf to drink, the scene at Velo is more chill and casual, and has some of the tastiest and cheapest beers, wine, and drinks at the Wharf.
The Velo happy hour might just be one of the best kept secrets at the Wharf. Every day from 4-6pm Velo cuts its prices $1 for happy hour. Mondays though are happy hour all day long, just what we all need on Mondays! On Wednesdays, customers get half price on all bottles of wine which includes Cabs from Australia, California Pinot Noirs, Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand and Rieslings from Germany. Lauren says she is working on a fall cocktail menu and will host a tasting in the near future, so keep an eye on the schedule.
Whether you are in need of a shot of morning caffeine or a shot of bourbon at the end of the day, Velo Cafe has it all.