Get Your Motor Runnin'
StarBike brings a new twist on vacation rentals and New Orleans dining
New Orleans has been an overnight destination since its founding, which means we’ve had nearly 300 years to perfect the hotel stay. From rowdy taverns to modern-day sophistication, this city has met travelers’ needs and even surprised them a time or two.
Enter StarBike Café and Guest Quarters, a new addition to both the New Orleans dining and overnight rental scene. One part vacation rental, one part community café, StarBike is a hybrid business in the hospitality and tourism industry with particular appeal for any motorcycle aficionado.
Amanda Frank, owner of the establishment, created StarBike with a vision of health, service and fun.
“I was on a health kick a few years ago and I had a hard time finding healthy places to eat for breakfast and lunch,” explained Frank. “I also have my love for motorcycles and I kept thinking to myself, ‘Why can’t I do something I love?’ One day I just figured out a way to combine the two and start a motorcycle-influenced café. Based on the property, I was also able to add vacation rentals to the business.”
Located at 4737 Tchoupitoulas St. at Bordeaux Street, StarBike is situated near amenities that appeal to a variety of customers. The nearby Rosie’s Jazz Hall brings in wedding guests who need accommodations, the Rouses is an easy place for renters to stock their kitchens and Tchoup 45 bar is a well-regarded watering hole an easy walk away. Not to mention the tasty treats and people watching at Hansen’s Sno-Bliz in the summer months.
The accommodations at StarBike include four apartments, with a fifth to be added in early 2018. Housing single people or entire families, the property can be rented to suit any tourist’s needs. Frank said she has already had repeat customers in less than a year of operation and is booked for major events like Voodoo Experience and Mardi Gras.
The café is scheduled to open for daily breakfast and lunch service in late October. Frank will hire a chef with a focus on healthy, fun dining options, but is also open to bringing in food trucks for dinner choices and special events.
“I want tourists to feel a sense of community,” said Frank. “I want locals to feel comfortable too, and for them to be here to help tourists see and do things in New Orleans outside of the French Quarter and see a different view of the city.”
To that end, Frank is happy to provide suggestions of things to do and places to eat, even beyond her own café. Using her nearly 30 years of motorcycle experience, she also plans to create a map specifically for motorcycle riders for destinations and day trips beyond the immediate New Orleans area.
Her love of all things motorcycle has been intertwined with her business model.
StarBike, the namesake of her business, was Frank’s first motorcycle and a painting of it adorns an exterior wall. The original gas tank will also serve as part of the interior décor in the café. While StarBike by no means caters specifically to motorcycle enthusiasts, special amenities like secure off-street parking for motorcycles and easy access to the highway are draws.
“I’m doing this because it’s something I enjoy and I think we need it,” Frank said. “Not just the motorcycle community, but for all locals and tourists to feel at home at StarBike and in New Orleans.”
It’s definitely a passion project for Frank. She quipped, “I want to make enough money so I can stay open, but I’m not looking to become a millionaire.”
To book a StarBike rental or learn the latest news about the café, visit starbikenola.com.