This week over on the music side of the Observer, Daniel Hopkins interviewed Chris Jeffers, one of the owners behind Bolsa, Smoke, and more recently, The Foundry and Chicken Scratch. The piece pictures Jeffers on his new bicycle: a pimped up paletero cart with a hot rod paint job. I called up Jeffers to see what he had planned for the bike.
Jeffers was super enthusiastic about the paleteros that patrol his neighborhood. "They're all over Oak Cliff," he told me. Jeffers wanted to come up with a way to promote his new bar and restaurant, while also paying homage to the neighborhood that gave rise to his first restaurant, Bolsa.
He's not done tricking out the bike. "I really want to put a banana seat on it," he said of upcoming modifications, but he stopped short of saying exactly what he'd do with the bike. He wants to have fun with it, though, and is thinking about riding the bike around neighborhoods with a lot of foot traffic to hand out Popsicles and fliers with upcoming concert dates for The Foundry's brilliant stage.
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Jeffers' plans aren't finalized, but he says he's not definitely not going to use the peddle pusher to make money; the permitting process is too difficult and costly, and the revenue would be too small considering the scale of his other businesses.
So how does it handle?
"It's harder than you think," he told me, knowing I have a pension for people-powered transportation myself. The bike gave Jeffers a newfound respect for the hundreds of paleteros patrolling Dallas at the height of summer. "It's the hardest job in all the world," he said.