Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m.–midnight
3521 S. Lone Pine Ave., Springfield
As any good office worker who reads the internet knows, sitting all day is the new smoking. It’s going to kill us all! And, as a person who would rather not die a premature death—especially one from something as unremarkable as sitting too much—I try to combat this silent killer with periodic bouts of walking. I’ll walk to get a snack or to avoid an over-caffeinated co-worker. I’ll use just about any excuse to get out of the office and into the fresh air, and the other day the sunshine was enough of a reason to ask my office mate Claire if she wanted to go for a walk. My plan was to grab lunch at Sequiota Bike Shop and then hop across the street to the Galloway Trail to walk off the calories. She was happy to oblige.
If you overindulge, hop on a rental bike to burn off the bloat. Bonus: They have baskets for leftovers!
It was one of those perfect days when the sun is shining but it’s not swelteringly hot. All of the seating at Sequiota Bike Shop is outside, and we scoped out a table on the back patio, a prime people-watching spot. We started things off by splitting a bourbon slush. Made with aged bourbon, this drink looks like applesauce and tastes like heaven. It’s sweet and just a little bit tart, and the flavor of the bourbon comes through without being overpowering. The slush went down more quickly than we had anticipated, so we agreed the only logical thing to do was to share another drink: Variety is the spice of life, after all. We opted for the strawberry lemonade, which is made with Three Olives vodka, lemonade, cranberry juice and fresh strawberries. It was good, but didn’t reach the yumminess level the slush had achieved.
A slush that tastes like applesauce but punches like bourbon? Sign us up.
After sufficiently getting our booze on, we thought it might be time to order some food—we were here to eat lunch, after all. We ordered the Carnivore board as an appetizer. Slices of capicola, pepperoni and roast beef are served with a variety of cheeses, grapes, whole-grain mustard, homemade Grand Marnier jam and French bread toast points. It was all tasty, but I was particularly fond of the capicola. Claire liked the roast beef so much she decided to order the Jamis roast beef sandwich for her entree. Toasted rye bread is filled with roast beef, tomato, fresh spring mix and horseradish dill spread. She let me try a bite, and I was an immediate fan. Roast beef sandwiches can sometimes be a little plain for my taste, but this one was packed with flavor. For her side, Claire chose the fresh veggies, but instead of getting it with plain ranch, she asked for basil ranch, which turned out to be a delicious choice. This basil ranch is far superior to any regular ranch, and it’s homemade to boot.
Embrace your inner meat-eater with the deliciously composed Carnivore board.
After some serious debate, I settled on the Tandem, which is made with sourdough bread with smoked turkey, peppered bacon, romaine lettuce, blue cheese and Chambord spread. I was excited about the unusual combination of ingredients, but, for me, the Chambord jam overpowered everything else. It was a bit too sweet, and there seemed to be too much of it. A lighter touch would have improved the overall dish. I ordered the soup of the day as my side, which was, surprisingly, corned beef and cabbage. I had never had corned beef soup before, but I finished every last bite.
As we finished our meals, feeling happy, full and sleepy, we eyed the Galloway Trail on the other side of Lone Pine Avenue. With one look, I could tell Claire and I were on the same page. Walking would have to wait for another day.
Q & A with the Owners
417 Magazine: How did your business partnership come about?
Anne Baker: I managed for Tom at the original Ophelia’s, in the space where 417 Taphouse now is.
Tom Muetzel: She came on at Finnegan’s and made herself indispensable, and I decided to make her a partner.
417: How did you decide on this location?
T.M.: We’d actually been looking for a spot that had an outdoor feature, and we always liked Galloway. We took over the lease from some friends of ours.
A.B.: When we saw this place, even though the physical size of the building had some limitations, the outdoor space was what interested us.
417: What’s up next for Sequiota Bike Shop?
T.M.: The tent is getting lighting, attachable sides, heaters and fans to make it more conducive to [dining in] all types of weather. We’ve also purchased another large white tent that can be used for weddings.
A.B.: We’re already pretty booked for this summer.
417: What’s the biggest difference between operating downtown and operating here?
A.B.: Downtown we’re so used to seeing a large customer base out at night. Here we’re dealing with families and children.
T.M.: The wildlife. In the mornings we find deer and turkeys on the lawn. We even had a turtle crawl across the backyard.
Five Fun Facts
Tom Muetzel is a troop leader for a local Boy Scout group, and they go foraging for mushrooms on the weekends, the bounty of which is often shared with the restaurant and can be found in daily specials.
Go For a Spin
Sequiota Bike Shop also offers bike rentals. Single bikes run $15 for the first hour and $7.50 for each additional hour. Tandem bikes run $25 for the first hour and $12.50 for each additional hour. Bonus: Receive an additional 20 percent off your food purchase when you rent bikes.
Lavender, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme and mint grow on the property and can be found on the menus at Sequiota Bike Shop, Civil Kitchen & Tap and Finnegan’s Wake.
Closing for a couple of months last winter allowed the staff to build up the beautiful back patio, all of which was done by employees. The owners plan on adding something different each winter to keep things exciting.
Hoppy & Malty
Check out the Facebook page Hoppy Malty, named after owners Muetzel and Baker’s dogs, to keep up to date on the latest Sequiota Bike Shop happenings.