Eat, drink, and tune up: Peloton Station puts the pedal to the metal when it comes to sandwiches

You can tune up your bicycle and enjoy a sandwich and a beer at Peloton Station. The cycle-centric tavern and bike kitchen opens August 16 on 10th Street NW. Photo by Stephen Barling You can tune up your bicycle and enjoy a sandwich and a beer at Peloton Station. The cycle-centric tavern and bike kitchen opens August 16 on 10th Street NW. Photo by Stephen Barling

What’s better than ending a long bike ride by tucking into a premium sandwich and a craft beer on tap? How about getting your flat fixed, or your bike tuned up while you relax in the comfortable setting of Peloton Station, the cycle-centric tavern and bike kitchen collaboration between Greg Vogler, Curtis Shaver, and Bill Hamilton, of the Hamilton family of restaurants.

Shaver, Peloton’s general manager and chef, avid cyclist, and part-time bike mechanic, will remain as executive chef at Hamiltons’ at First & Main restaurant, with longtime sous chef Jeremy Webb taking over as chef de cuisine, but will be leading the peloton at Peloton, which opens August 16 at 114 10th St. NW.

Curtis Shaver is general manager and chef at Peloton Station. Photo by Stephen Barling

Vogler says the cycle-centric tavern and bike kitchen seemed a natural fit with Shaver at the helm: “This is really the passion mash-up of our chef, general manager, owner, and partner Curtis Shaver: cycling, great food, and great drink.” He adds that Peloton Station, open from 11am-11pm, will feature “killer sandwiches, great craft draft beers, tallboys, and bikes.”

Popular in Europe, bike cafés are only starting to show up in the United States, and Vogler says the timing was right.

“Charlottesville’s ready for something like this,” he says. “We’re ready to fix your flat and offer you a sandwich and beer. Our hope is to be the hub of the Charlottesville cycling community—we need to earn that and we’re going to.”

With Shaver—who built up a near-cult following with his Sandwich Lab at Hamiltons’—in charge, the sandwiches should be first-rate.

“The sandwiches are going to be elevated—for instance, your classic Italian sandwich kicked up a notch,” Vogler says. “I’m really proud of the green pea kofta. It’s hard to do vegetarian sandwich and that’s a place where our chef…that’s evidence of his skills, making it so flavorful and interesting.”

The tavern also boasts seasoned Charlottesville bar scene veterans who promise to make memorable, one-of-a-kind cocktails.

Even the drinking water is elevated to a higher level at Peloton, with a water bottle fountain built into the wall for refills (just in case the place inspires you to get back on the road after your break).

Beer garden

The seventh annual Virginia Craft Brewers Fest will be held from 2-8pm, Saturday, August 18, at the Three Notch’d Brewing Company’s new Craft Kitchen & Brewery in the IX Art Park.

The largest independent Virginia-only craft beer festival in the Commonwealth is part of Virginia Craft Beer Month, and features tastings poured by award-winning brewmasters, a sours garden, music, food pairings, and more from nearly 100 Virginia craft brewers and vendors.

But what will we eat with our Take It Away sandwich?

It’s hard to find anyone who isn’t sick and tired of the excessive amount of rain this summer. And now regional weather-related woes have sprouted even bigger problems, what with widespread delays in the harvesting of potatoes, according to the Mount Jackson-based Route 11 Chips.

“We’ve been making chips for 25-plus years and have never seen a season like this,” says Sarah Cohen, founder and president of Route 11 Potato Chips. “It started out too hot and dry, and then there was a nonstop deluge of rain for weeks and no sunshine, making for nightmarish conditions for growers from North Carolina to Virginia to New Jersey.”

Potato crops require sun and well-drained soil, so a hot and rainy summer like the one we’ve had is less than ideal for growers (and for those of us who like a side of chips with our summer sandwiches). “Because we couldn’t get potatoes, we’ve had to take off a running total of 14 days of production this summer.”

According to information released by the company, “Continued heavy rains across the East Coast are continuing to cause a delay in the harvest of potatoes. 2018 is the first year we’ve experienced these types of potato shortages. We took advantage of our brief window of dry days to run the maximum production we could. As you know, we cook to order so that you always get the freshest chips possible from us. Because we do not stockpile large quantities of chips, this bizarre weather has affected our inventory quickly.”

The company says there could be a one-week delay in fulfilling some orders, and it expects to resume production at full speed as soon as potatoes become regularly available. Which would be none too soon, as a week without a bag of their fiery Mama Zuma’s Revenge habanero mash-and-barbecue chips could be tragic.

Goodbye, hello

La Cocina del Sol Mexican Restaurant in Crozet has closed its doors. No word on reasons behind the closure. And fans of Monique Boatwright’s confections will be happy to know that while she closed the Shark, Too iLab café, she is focusing on Shark Mountain Chocolate and making chocolate in Charlottesville.

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