Bringing bike culture, family values to community

Co-owners hope to offer place for bike tinkering, coffee, brews



3 Forks Bike And Brew founders Scott McBeath, left, and Francene Watson, right, cut the ribbon opening their restaurant on Thursday night.

MAGGIE QUINLAN , Evergreen reporter

The grand opening party for Three Forks Bike and Brew was held on Thursday. The cafe is geared toward encouraging people of all ages to relax and make new friends.

Three Forks Bike and Brew is a mom and pop shop run by couple and co-owners Francene Watson and Scott McBeath, who are building a business based on their shared values.

“We really like connecting humans around like passions,” Watson said.

The culture around biking Watson and McBeath bring to the Palouse involves a way of life that expands beyond biking itself. They said it emphasizes the importance of friendships and family activities.

Watson said their cafe was designed to prioritize a sustainable lifestyle with an appreciation for nature, unstructured fun and exercise through more structured activities like organized sports.

“Every town needs a place where you can get coffee, beer and be able to tinker with your bike,” McBeath said.

Three Forks is a family-friendly space that serves craft beer, cider, wine and a selection of simple hearty meals like lentil chili and grilled cheese. The rustic, yet slick decor combines a bar and coffeehouse atmosphere. Indoor and outdoor seating help add to the welcoming mood.

To address sustainability, the cafe uses local ingredients and drinks as much as possible. Watson said the cafe’s goal is to serve farm-to-table food.

The cafe also features a DIY bike repair station, which Watson said they hope people will bond over. McBeath said he imagines people working on their bikes will solve problems at the station.

“Maybe then they’d be like ‘I have a 9-year-old,’ and ‘Oh, I have a 9-year-old too. Let’s go on a bike ride together,’ ” McBeath said. “My camps have proven over and over again that kids don’t ride bikes by themselves.”

Before the space was home to Three Forks Bike and Brew, McBeath said it was a bar owned by Jim Harbour, owner of South Fork Public House. The inside design is almost the same as it was for the old business, but the Three Forks approach deviates from the old model. Watson said the nighttime format didn’t work for the location, since their establishment serves a different need in the area.

Though the cafe is brand-new, the co-owners have been expanding bike culture in the community for many years. McBeath created the Three Forks Bike Club tracks near Lincoln Middle School to help guide young Pullmanites out of trouble and into sustainable lifestyles.

McBeath said he sees Pullman moving in the direction of a more bike-friendly culture.

“It’s already happening, look at all the teenagers here right now,” he said.

An update on the Three Forks Bike and Brew website states the couple is grateful and feeling balanced after their first few days running the cafe. They were pleased by the turnout at the grand opening.

“I could not believe how many people were here,” McBeath said. “I was like ‘Whoa.’ ”