Cafe cul­ture

How a break­ers’ yard spawned a thriv­ing meet­ing spot down south

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK IN MCN - By Justin Hayzelden

Bril­liant bik­ing venue is a crack­ing place to visit

Stealthily lo­cated within an in­dus­trial busi­ness cen­tre close to the heart of Maid­stone is one of the friendli­est hang­outs in the south­east, the Reca Com­mu­nity Biker Café.

Owned and op­er­ated by the end­lessly en­er­getic Rick Evans, this in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar venue came about by some­thing of an evolution; “I’d set up a mo­tor­cy­cle break­ers’ in the unit op­po­site with the idea of trad­ing through ebay,” says Rick. “It was tough work as I was mainly on my own, but over time I started get­ting reg­u­lars pop­ping in and hang­ing around. This was great, but they were drink­ing all my tea and cof­fee, so I said, ‘OK, if you want to come down and hang out, bring a pint of milk or put 50p in the pot’. At some point some­one sug­gested mak­ing ba­con sand­wiches and it wasn’t much longer be­fore I’d set up some ta­bles and the break­ers’ had be­come a café!”

When the op­por­tu­nity arose to move into the cur­rent, larger premises Rick en­listed the help of the com­mu­nity that had grown around him and within six days they’d ren­o­vated a damp, mouldy and di­lap­i­dated unit into the thriv­ing ren­dezvous that it is to­day. It’s not just biker friendly – it’s built by bik­ers, for bik­ers and of course, run by bik­ers.

Although it’s a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for var­i­ous groups, Rick also has the in­di­vid­ual very much in mind. “Noone is ex­cluded and we aim to wel­come ev­ery­one. If you’re new to bik­ing come down and order a tea – chances are you won’t be sit­ting alone for long and if you don’t know any­one when you ar­rive, by the time you leave you will. By the sec­ond visit you’ll be hooked up on Face­book and mak­ing ar­range­ments for ride­outs, that’s pretty much how things work down here.”

Be­yond the café there are live mu­sic nights fea­tur­ing any­thing from mod bands that see an army of scoot­ers turn up to acoustic sets for those who pre­fer things a lit­tle more mel­low.

If you’re in the south­east, Reca is def­i­nitely worth the ride!

‘Chances are you won’t be sit­ting alone for long’

Big bike, 125, cus­tom… what­ever you ride you’re wel­come

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