View Full Version : My neighborhood needs a bike shop!

05-07-2007, 07:08 PM
OK - I know this is kind of a weird topic, but I thought I'd throw it out there in case there just happens to be someone who could respond to this. Jonathan M. suggested this would be a good spot for this post.
I live in SE Portland on the east side of Mt. Tabor in the Montavilla neighborhood (Montavilla = Mount Tabor Village: I just learned that.) Anyway, if you know east Portland, you know this little strip is just taking off - hip places opening, a definite vibe in the air. The place is getting downright fun. In a five-block strip along Stark from 77th to 82nd we've got Flying Pie Pizza (Portland's best pizza http://www.flying-pie.com/) the Bipartisan cafe (serves Stumptown and home of Portland's best pie according to Willy Week http://www.bipartisancafe.com/), Ya Hala Lebanese restaurant (home of Portland's best falafel),the recently renovated Academy Theater (which serves Flying Pie AND Terminal Gravity IPA!)
http:/www.academytheaterpdx.com/ and just opened, chef Adam Sappington's (of Wildwood fame) new restaurant, The Country Cat (check this preview http://www.pdxfoodpress.com/?p=579) I was there for the staff shakedown last week and I have never had Fried Chicken so good (yes, fried chicken, his "signature dish" I hear). Also just opened is the new world headquarters of Grenade LLC called "The Office" (snowboard/skateboard gear and clothes) http://www.grenadegloves.com/ Check out the headware section - they have a new hat called...the Mt Tabor! And then there's the Wednesday evening rides getting all the forum attention right up the street in Mt Tabor park.

All this to say the neighborhood is ripe for a little bike shop. I guarantee you at least one customer (me) there is space for lease, a just renovated building on the north side between 81st and 82nd, just across from Grenade - actually divided into more than one space, 1000-2500 sq. ft. There's another very cool space on the block between Bipartisan and Country Cat, but Peter (owner of Bipartisan) told me Romo's Mexican restaurant (on Hawthorne) has leased the space and I just saw them working on it so... If you've ever wanted to open a bike shop ( I have, but I've got no business sense, and hungry kids to feed) here's your place. Yeah, i know we have Performance down the street, and BG over on Division. And I know the shop on 60th and Division went under. Maybe it's a really bad idea. Maybe Portland is at bike shop saturation. I know I'm just dreaming here, but my favorite shops in town are the funky neighborhood shops (Veloce, Sellwood, Cyclepath, etc) and this is a great, bike-friendly, up-and-coming neighborhood. I'll even work summers and weekends for you for free (or nearly). Come on, this could be your neighborhood too

05-08-2007, 06:41 AM
That would be a cool place for a bike shop. Great idea! Glad to see that this little commercial district is sprucing up again.

Just to give a quick bit of Montavilla history, the building next to the movie theater used to be Hooks Cyclery, one of those cool old Schwinn dealerships prevalent in the 50's, 60's & 70's (Pat's Cycles on Powell and Kissler's on B-H Highway were the other two around Portland). My first two bikes - a yellow Sting-Ray DeLuxe and a black Super Le Tour II - were purchased there.

05-09-2007, 12:19 AM
i bought a house blocks away from that stark strip earlier in the year (i love it out here). i used to work in a shop for a good while but i've got no ideas regarding what it takes to run a business. i can overhaul your bike but creating an inventory would be beyond me.

all my friends tell me i should open a shop and i tell them they're crazy. a shop in this neighborhood would be great though.

also i'm bummed the country cat is so meat-centric and not exactly cheap. it seems a bit upscale for the neighborhood (i haven't been in, just walked by a few times, checked the menu...). oh well.

one more thing: the owner of the bipartisan, for the first time in the 6 months my gf and i have been going in to get coffee, cracked a smile and even chuckled when i was at the counter. he couldn't read the writing on the t-shirt i was wearing (death metal band) and he wondered what it said.

05-09-2007, 10:34 AM
"the building next to the movie theater used to be Hooks Cyclery, one of those cool old Schwinn dealerships prevalent in the 50's, 60's & 70's"

I think I remember that. I've lived in the area for about 6 years now, but grew up there too because my grandparents lived up on 70th in the house they built in late 40's. Yes, it is good to see the area coming back from its dark days. I'm even harboring a little hope for 82nd (Avenue of Roses?!?!)

and rainperimeter, I hear you about Country Cat, but give it a try. They are upscale, but in a very down-to-earth way (if that makes sense.) NOTHING pretentious about Adam and they do have vegy options. His far-ranging hope is to have this venture take off and then branch out into breakfast as well (maybe an add-on space?). I sure hope so. Peter (at BiPartisan) is a funny guy; you're right about the (lack of) smile. Maybe it's all the focus on politics? I mean, who with any sense of humor takes politics seriously?