Velo Cafés Limited, which is led by chief executive Nigel Lambe, has been offered the lease of the eco-café at the heart of the Ditchling Road park which is currently being restored as part of a £2.3m project funded by Brighton & Hove City Council.
"The restoration of The Level is one of the most exciting and significant projects undertaken in the city in recent years," said Councillor Pete West, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee. "I am delighted that we are able to offer our residents the city’s first cycling café as part of this project."
Velo was formed earlier this year by Brad Jacobsen, founder of Small Batch Coffee; Oli Hyde, pub operator and founder of The Flour Pot Bakery and James Cuthbertson, director at the Dark Star Brewing Co and Instinctive PR.
At the time of the launch, local entrepreneur Lambe, who is also the chairman of Small Batch Coffee and WJ King Brewery, said he hoped to open 10 sites within five years under the sustainable café brand.
"What impressed us about Velo’s bid was the emphasis on sustainable food sourcing, fresh produce and affordable prices, alongside the exciting cycling theme," West added.
The single-storey café will feature a green wildlife-friendly roof, solar thermal panels, air-source heating, a rainwater harvesting system and glass doors which open out onto a dining terrace on three sides overlooking the restored park.
It is thought the Velo team were offered the lease of the site after an informal tender process.
A spokesperson confirmed to BigHospitality that Velo was hoping to secure a second site in the Brighton and Hove area initially but would then be looking at sites in the south east to meet its 10 venues in five years target.
The management team are flexible about taking on various sites, from former pubs to retail units, and will be looking to roll out the brand nationally after expanding in SE England.
According to Lambe, the first Velo site will be operated both as a café and community hub: "From grabbing a coffee on the way to work to, bringing the kids back at the weekend for a drink and a bite to eat - Velo will be accessible and fun for everyone.
"We’ll make a simple promise to our customers - to deliver a high quality experience at every level and be accessible to all. It’s more about our attitude to a healthy and active lifestyle, than about the Lycra. In common with our other local businesses, we will strive to source local products wherever possible and create long term employment both within our cafes and the wider supply chain," he added.