Rehabbing old objects and giving them a new life is nothing new to Kelti and Tanner Ziese. In August 2017, the husband-and-wife team opened Coda Co., a Bellevue boutique that sells upcycled, handmade home goods. Now, with the help of some friends, the duo is breathing life back into a vintage 1976 Bristol double-decker bus, which they plan to turn into a late-night doughnut bar and café.
Two years ago, during a trip to Asheville, North Carolina, Kelti and Tanner visited a bakery housed in a double-decker bus and instantly knew they wanted to bring something similar to northern Kentucky. As fate would have it, Tanner knew just where to find a double-decker bus, having spotted one years earlier in a previous employer’s storage unit. Still unsure of their exact plans, the couple called to ask about the bus and learned the owner was looking to sell it. “After we saw the bus, I was like, All right let’s go for it,” Kelti says.
The duo is calling the project Nomad and plans to debut it in next spring in the former Mama C’s Bakery space at 225 Fairfield Avenue, just down the street from their storefront. Kelti describes Nomad as a late-night donut bar and café that will also serve alcoholic drinks. The double-decker bus will be parked in the lot in front of the building, which will serve as the main seating area. Additional seating, the kitchen, and bathrooms will be accessible inside the building behind the bus. Although they’re still in the planning stages, Kelti says Nomad’s hours of operation will likely match Darkness Brewing, which is located across the street. “We want to make this a place where people can gather and hang out,” she adds.
To make this a reality, Kelti and Tanner are teaming up with friends and fellow Bellevue residents, Ryan Thierauf, Kirstie Maria, and Drew and Brooke Hutson, who ultimately hope Nomad will bring more attention to the Bellevue area, the city that brought them all together. “We’re hoping we can have this be a big staple of Bellevue to get people down here,” Kelti says. In the meantime, the team is renovating the bus and plans to launch a kickstarter in the next couple weeks to help fund renovations.
Nomad, 225 Fairfield Avenue, Bellevue