The Catalyst

Why a BMW as my first café project? If you followed us on Northern Café Racers or read Where it All Began then you know I spent some time early in my career in aviation as a professional pilot. It’s the opposed cylinders you find in general aviation aircraft that led me to look for a BMW.

Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of vintage BMWs in Alaska.

I learned pretty fast that if a vintage bike - especially a BMW - ever hit Craigslist, eBay, or any other online ad listing, the average guy’s chances of getting that bike were greatly diminished. Once that listing goes live, you're competing with guys with more money, more time and more technology. There’s apps designed to scan online listings nationwide. 

The only reason I bring this up is...

Where It All Began

I grew up around an appreciation for old stuff. 

My dad collected barber chairs and crank telephones. He went as far as to buy an old hotel in coastal Alaska just to pull the valuable items and hold on to them and make sure they didn't get destroyed. And then he destroyed the hotel and salvaged the copper and other metals. 

The guy has a crippling foresight when it comes to preserving the past. He's been horse-trading and making deals for as long as I can remember, and has all kinds of cool collectible stuff to show for it. He actually had to purchase an adjacent parcel of land to accommodate his collections. But he's really not into restoring any of it; he secures the pieces, which in his mind keeps it from getting demolished. 

Growing up around...