Stephen and Brian are brothers that were raised in Ludington, Michigan by parents that both grew up in downtown Detroit. Their father and grandfather were both City of Detroit Policemen. Stephen and Brian both work as mechanical engineers now: Brian in the automotive industry and Stephen in aerospace. They started the HandleBar to expand the outdoor opportunities in the city and have a little fun along the way. By starting The Handlebar in Detroit, they are combining their love of being outdoors with socializing and having a good time. The HandleBar is a way to help locals and out of town visitors enjoy this great midwestern city in a unique way. Let’s ride!
(Picture was taken from a story that “CAR AND DRIVER” did on us in their publication)
The history of the pedal pub dates back to the world headquarters of the bicycle – in The Netherlands. 19 years ago the bike that you see in Detroit, Michigan today was invented by Brothers Henk and Zwier Van Laar. They were asked by a friend who owned a bar to make a float for the Queen’s Day Parade – the request was to make a bicycle bar combining 2 favorites of the Dutch: Beer and biking. Henk and Zwier went to work and what you see is the result! After the parade it was such a hit they started renting it and the rest is history.
We’re honored to offer tours of Detroit with the world’s first bicycle bar. Look close and you’ll see dutch wording “Het Fietscafe” on the bike, which is a word that Henk and Zwier made up of existing words (Het = the, Fiets = bicycle, cafe = bar) Pictured above are Henk and Zwier with their HandleBar t-shirts and 2 of our bikes before they were shipped from Amsterdam! Something else The HandleBar is proud of is that we’ve made design improvement suggestions to the clutch system and they have already been implemented to the bikes that are shipping worldwide
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy did a story on us that you can see below. It’s a quick video that shows what it’s like to do a tour on The HandleBar. The focus was also to highlight how The HandleBar has paved the way in Detroit to work with the city to allow new ventures by entrepreneurs. If you have time check it out!
"So much fun! Can't wait to do it again! Our out of town guests loved it. Great way to entertain at a reasonable cost."
"My friend's and I had a great time! The driver was awesome and joked around with us! I highly suggest it for any group that wants to have a drink and see downtown Detroit."
"Very satisfied with my Handle Bar experience! A light exercise while socializing with all of downtown is a must! Great before a Lions game."
Curious about what The HandleBar experience is really like? Check out these photos of riders having a great time with friends, family, and coworkers while biking and checking out bars downtown.
We are more than happy to help you better understand what The HandleBar experience is all about, how to book your tour, and to let you know what to expect during your ride through our amazing city’s streets.