When I first approach the counter, I smirked at the sign: “We accept cash / card / motorcycles.” As I was walking around the coffee shop, I thought maybe the owner of the shop had some kind of fascination with motorcycles and decided to use them as props at the store.
It wasn’t until I started talking with Zac, the General Manager, that I began to understand the story. Namely, that Brother Moto wasn’t a coffee shop in the beginning but rather a garage and community space for those in the Atlanta area with motorcycles who didn’t have the space and/or the tools to perform motorcycle maintenance. Brother Moto filled that void by providing motorcycle owners a space to work on their motorcycles or store them for a small monthly maintenance fee. As Zac explained, the owners of these motorcycles would spend a lot of time in the shop and some of these folks wanted to drink coffee in the morning or as they were working on their bikes. The owners of Brother Moto (Jared Erickson and Bobby Russell) experimented with opening up a coffee stand (this was in a previous location of Brother Moto in East Atlanta Village) and it took off. When Brother Moto moved to its current location in the Cabbagetown neighborhood of Atlanta (at 670 Memorial Drive), of course the primary focus was the do-it-yourself motorcycle garage and storage space, but the coffee shop migrated as well.
I think this theme of coffee revolving around a community is so strong, and Brother Moto encapsulates it. People came together for a common purpose, and stayed for a little longer because there was great coffee. Today, Brother Moto is a motorcycle community garage, lifestyle goods brand, and a coffee shop blended together. This is why I think Brother Moto is an evolution of a coffee shop: its purpose wasn’t to be one initially but it has evolved into that role over time.
You don’t have to know anything about motorcycles, however, to enjoy the space that Brother Moto offers to its patrons.
Photos and descriptions from my visit to Brother Moto are below.
The interior of Brother Moto is massive. During my visit, there was a group of five or six people that was working together on some kind of project, occupying one of the large desks. There are also couches and two-person smaller tables near the entrance to the building.
Funny at first, but it makes sense:
Brother Moto is a community based Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) Garage , coffee shop and motorcycle lifestyle goods brand in Atlanta GA. Our goal is to allow for people of all skill levels to have the ability to work on their own bikes with the right tools at a low monthly membership cost. A by-product of this shared space has been an amazing community of all ages and walks of life that find a common ground in motorcycles. We provide a lifestyle retail experience and coffee program to encourage the general public and moto-curious to come into our space and for us to remain inclusive and open to the public.
The Brother Moto Lifestyle Goods Store
As mentioned, another component of Brother Moto is the lifestyle brand and accompanying store. There are helmets, t-shirts, books on sale in the physical store. Many items not featured in the physical store may be bought online.
The Motorcycle Shop at Brother Moto
One of the coolest experiences I had inside Brother Moto was getting the backstage tour of the garage. Thank you to Zac, the GM, who kindly showed me around and explained the membership structure of Brother Moto and answered my questions about Brother Moto.
Brother Moto is one of the unique coffee spots in Atlanta. Come for the coffee and explore the wall and floor displays.
Brother Moto has an awesome Instagram page where you may find scenes from Brother Moto and a lot of photos of motorcycles and motorcycle culture. Brother Moto also features prominent slogans/catch-phrases such as “The Place We All Go,” “Motorcycles are Dangerous,” and “Be Fast or Be Last.” A few of my favorites for the #motocurious are below.
You don’t have to own a motorcycle to love Brother Moto.
Final verdict: Brother Moto is a must-visit coffee shop in Atlanta1.
1 I don't make this observation lightly; in fact, I waited until I have visited at least 50 Atlanta-area coffee shops to make this claim.