See See Motor Coffee was and is a grassroots movement of keeping motorcycling alive and well in the Pacific Northwest. In an area where nine months out of the year it rains, it pours and the old man definitely snores... See See wanted to create a community that could reach out to a network of people and riders that had never met or had a place to do so.
We created our Motorcycle centric retail and coffee cafe to provide such a space for that community. Our company has.. and always will be inclusive to all riders of all types at all levels and at all times. We've paved the way for many other small moto-centric folks to do the same in their own local communities. See See Motorcycles' name is a play on our logo which has ALWAYS been a smiley face with two C's as it's eyes... showcasing our friendly approach to getting out their, riding motorcycles and enjoying it too.
We have a very unique setup here with our motorcycle centric space, we combine engines and espresso all under one roof. We love our regulars, and our first timers! If you've never been in, make sure to stop by and check us out.
We are open 7 days a week. We serve house made breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and locally crafted sausages. Our Hot Dog happy hour is from 4pm-6pm daily and includes a dog of your choice, chips and a beer...all for $6!
See See Family values.
A family that plays together, stays together...
Our family loosely corrals a band of like minded folks from all over the great universe, and our playing, refers to fun stuff revolving around two wheeled motorized machines. These two things together become united by a healthy creative spirit and open minded, adventure seeking individuals.
See See Motor Coffee Co is small coffee shop and even smaller motorcycle shop located smack dab in the epicenter of creativity and heart of the Pacific Northwest in Portland Oregon. With a our second location in Reno NV
See See Motorcycles started a handful of years ago, like most things, as a hairbrained idea over some barley pops shared between Thor Drake Drake McElroy and a couple buddies. As they talked they decided they didn't fit into the current culture and world of motorcycles. They wanted something more like the world they grew up in, where people helped each other, had fun together, and inspired each other to do better and create a more inclusive motorcycle scene. Now… We're’ not saying that didn't exist, we're sure it did in a lot of places, just not any place near us.
When we started our hairbrained idea of this new potentially inclusive motorcycle thing (2008) the standard American biker image was the stereotypical motorcycle “badboy” big fat tire hogs with lots of skulls and lots and lots of fiery orange flames. Tons of badassery going down around us, and there we stood with our obviously tight fitting clothes and and creative abilities, missing the badassery mark by a long shot. We opted for a smiling face with two Cs for eyes ... there is was, the undefinable See See logo, to go along with an indefinable name. One thing we knew we wanted to be was inclusive, inviting and open to anyone interested. Maybe something carried over from days spent in skateboard shops?
Our See See debut was a pair of motorcycles we built from old tossed aside dirt bikes. Thor's being a street legal xr400 converted into a cooler looking Cafe Racer. Drake used an old supermoto YZF450 which he also converted. At the time, these were pretty wild builds and we had a pretty good response to the bikes, they ended up traveling around with Roland Sands to different IMS trade shows landing at the Red Bull party during the inaugural Laguna Seca GP. All in all it was good to get the attention. This was when Thor started opening his big mouth and telling people he was going to open a bike shop not fully knowing the scale of what he was talking about…. Had he known he's not sure he'd repeat. Maybe?
Simultaneously Thor was a bit unsatisfied by the IMS showing. Yeah it was cool to be next to the OEM bikes, but the bikes where an after thought sitting along side next years model. At the time, Thor was interning at this massive advertising agency and instead of doing the assigned work he started The One Motorcycle Show. It was one of those silver lining, stars aligning, light at the end of the tunnel, scenarios. He had rented a massive warehouse to build a tradeshow booth for Holden Outerwear (This was also a daily grind job) and after sending the booth off, he had a couple weeks left on my warehouse lease. Making just enough time and space to throw a motorcycle show. When he first conceived the show he designed it to be different than any other show we’d ever attended. He wanted all the bikes to be represented like art pieces, well lit and raised off the ground on handmade white platforms to showcase the work as it should be. We would charge only 1$ per cheap can of o’beer, and the motorcycle show would be indoors and of course, free entry. The first show featured around 60-70 custom bikes, race bikes, choppers, classics, a great copper steam engine bike, and we even had a fish-bowl type live mechanic room where people could just watch the ins and the outs of installing a motor or ( just a couple dudes getting drunk). We just invited a selection of bikes we thought were interesting. That first event was thrilling, After the show was over and done and the adrenaline settled, Thor asked the landlord if he could rent out a corner of the building for a fair price. He agreed and we started the very first See See Motorcycles Shop… (the coffee part came later!) We'd say it was pretty “humble beginnings.” It was all Thor could do to scrape together a small sticker order and pay the first months rent. He just kept his head down and worked on as much stuff as he could to keep a positive cash flow. I had some help from a friend who came on as a partner and we were able to open the doors to our first retail shop on June 10th 2010. We had a small lineup of brands and helmets. It was a total trial run to see if we could actually make a business out of a silly idea.
2 years later.
See See teamed up with our current co-owner George Kassapakis. Our first mission was to get a new location that would be easier to find. George negotiated a building smack dab in the heart of central eastside Portland. Funny, we still haven't had our grand re-opening.
We got the building, cleaned and gutted it until we had a blank canvas. George and Thor had never done much coffee stuff but we knew we needed something else to get us through the cold, rainy winter months of motorcycling in the the Pacific Northwest along with offering the best meet up spot in town. With some guidance from THE coffee Lord Duane Sorenson ( creator/owner of stumptown coffee), we put together a plan. The build out and design was a family effort from people we still work with on a regular basis, Mathew Foster was our design consultant and had now moved on to be our lead style council for everything See See branded. Brent Wick painted us a huge mural of a snake (most people don't see the two SS curled up in the snakes body but it’s there) Brent continuously does a lot of art work for us and was our stumptown coffee delivery guy just until recently. Thor did most of the design and buildout of the space itself, admittedly using recycled material to cut costs, purely out of necessity and not out of current design trends. He even used his old penny collection to cover ugly fasteners on the bar. It makes us proud to say he built See See with his own two hands and 2 cents:). Enough about how the biz got started…
What is See See?
Well it's hard to say exactly what it is, so more than anything it’s a family. But as courtesy here is a list of things we originated and do on a regular bases.
- See See Motor. Coffee. Co. The Umbrella
- See See Coffee - A cafe serving premium coffee, pastries, sandwiches, snacks, and beer!
- See See Motorcycles - Custom built motorcycles/ ground up customs/ Custom parts.
- See See Motorcycle Shop - Safety gear for men and women, Parts, clothing, accessories, maintenance stuff, local stuff, baby stuff, and lets not forget beard oil.
- 21 Helmets - The first custom helmet show. Annual showing for the last 4 years
- The One Motorcycle Show - Annual custom bike show featuring 120 custom, weird, rare and classic motorcycles from all over the world showing for the last 6 years
- Dirt Quake USA - Flat-track race for all kinds of bikes including Chopper flat track.
- See See bi-monthly art shows, featuring talented local and sometimes non-local artist.
- See See Sunday Swap Meet- summer swap meets hosted at See See.
- See See Productions- really weird videos we produce, direct and star in.
See See is more than just a coffee shop, it's more than just a motorcycle shop, its a big funny family of good ol’ folks that believe in having fun, riding all kinds of motorcycles, being creative, inspiring others, and being genuine to the core. When Meta asked me if we wanted to be in the magazine we wanted to do something that celebrated what we believe in more than anything else...The family.
Our plan was simple, get as much of the fam together, drag all our stuff out into the desert and have a hell of a good time. . we chose China Hat OHV park location because it was close to half way between Reno and Portland and the desert rules. We lucked out on the weather, the sunshine was out and every couple hours the heavens watered down the track for near perfect conditions. It was cool to see 3 generations 5 families 19 people 24 motorcycles at least 200 beers come together in perfect harmony.
The See See Family tree.
Thor Drake - Creator/Originator/Owner/Motorist
George Kassipakis - See See Pops/ Originator/ Co-owner/Motorist
Teddy Albertson - See See Co-Owner/ Brand Enthusiast
Tori George - Brand Manager/ Originator/Motorist
Emily George - Retail Store Manager Woman/Motorist
Mathew Foster - Style Council/Motorist
Ray Gordon - The Big Eye/Motorist
Bjorn Drake - Lil Bro That Could/Motorist
Bo Lundell - Operations Manager/ Two-wheeled enthusiast
Momo - Coffee asst. Manager/ Motorist
PDX COFFEE & RETAIL TEAM!
Angelo Adler - Event Cart Manager / Motorist
Tyler Olsen - Nicest Barista on the planet
Lucy Walker - Badass Barista / Motorist
Mary Timbrook - Assistant Retail Manager / Motorist
Cait - retail and motorist
Mary - Barista / Two-wheeled Enthusiast
Mariam Janes - Production Manager / Badass mover and shaker
Proud to say 98% of the See See Family owns and rides motorcycles, everyone wearing a smile. Our extended family have had some part of making See See what it is today.
Erica Price, Trevor Kelly, Frosty, Triston Lewis, Irissa McCausland, Jud Nicholson, Nichole Vella, Paulina Morris, Casey Lynch, Tennie & Matt Limo, Truen Pence, Eric Peet, Katie West, Cody McElroy, Big Al McElroy, Mamma T McElroy, Fran Gordon, Richard Jones, Dennis Hong, Lori D, Jessy Twin, Dustin Aksland, Scott Topfer, Rachel Peterson, Jon Humphries, Amanda Sundover, Seth Neefis, Dillon Turner, Jeff Proctor, Tom Czehor, Grant Ray, Joe Tessitori, Joey Lancaster, Kit Engwell, Brent wick, Wallace, Greg Schmitt, Dimitri Kassapakis, Gary Inman, Ginger McCabe, LIMO…I’m sure I left out of few, but you know who you are.
The next generation of See See is our race team. We believe you can't fake fast, racing is the thing we will always support, be it big or small. We sponsor these “go-fasters” because they, above all else, are competitive, nice folks that enjoy riding the most. These racers are our ambassadors at the track. Proud to say the team are all multi talented riders who will always be approachable and offer up good advice or simply a smile. GO SEE SEE TEAM!
Andy Dibrino, Kevin Rookstool, Davis Fisher, Jimmy Hill, Tanner Dean, Ashley Frilock, Skip Askland. New addition… Ty Tremaine
The one thing we hear from all over the great universe is people seen wearing the See See flag all talk to each other. We like to think its a movement of people who believe in the family.
Our extended network of inspired, genuine motorcyclists. Not only that we have been the common place for all walks of life to get together and learn a thing or two about the thing we love most… Viva Two Wheels!
If you’re ever in the Portland area come See See us and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, say hello and chat up the motorists around you!
Xoxo Thor Drake and The See See Team