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The Recyclery closes one location, opens two others

Posted by on August 5th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

The Recyclery is moving-20

The Recyclery is moving out of this location.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Popular used bike shop The Recyclery is leaving their current home in a Quonset hut on the corner of SE Madison and SE 7th and opening up at two other bike-friendly locations in the coming weeks.

I caught up with shop owner Robby Fenstermaker at their Madison location (they also have a small store in downtown Portland on SW 11th) yesterday to learn more about what’s going on.

Fenstermaker said he loves the SE Madison location, but its cavernous ceilings were impossible to heat in Portland’s icy winters. I asked if increased rents or other financial issues forced the move. “No” he said “it’s just really cold”. But if he has it his way, Fenstermaker might maintain a presence at this location. He’s talking with the landlord in hopes of occupying the building in the back (southern end) of the lot. That area currently houses the shop’s storage and repair facilities.

The Recyclery is moving-22

Shop owner Robby Fenstermaker.

Fenstermaker has wasted no time finding new digs. He’s set to open a new shop tomorrow on Ladds Circle (a former Videorama location at 1900 SE Ladd). That location has him smiling ear to ear because it’s right near one of the most highly trafficked bikeways in the city. (According to 2008 PBOT counts, the intersection of SE Ladd and Harrison had about 4,000 average daily bike trips).

The Recyclery has a 2.5-year lease at their new Ladds Circle location. Fenstermaker said that location — which is adjacent to quiet and calm bike boulevards — will also afford his customers a much nicer test-riding experience than they’ve had on SE Madison.

In addition to a new shop in Ladds, Fenstermaker has also signed a five-year lease on a space in St. Johns. Watch for The Recyclery to open up next door to the old Salvation Army headquarters on the 8400 block of N. Lombard street.

Fenstermaker says he’ll be completely out of the Madison location by the end of this month. The St. Johns location is scheduled to open next week.

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  • twistyaction August 5, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I heard from the previous tenants that the roof leaked as well. Did Robby mention if this was still the case? I wish he wasn’t moving out of there, he seemed to fit the building so well. I wish there was a simple way to address the winter comfort issues in there. I like the building and the past few businesses it’s fostered. I hope the next one is just as interesting.

    I hope he can use the new location in Ladd’s to promote harmony in that neighborhood regarding stop sign compliance.

    Good luck Robby!

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  • amos August 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    He’s right. It gets really cold in there in the winter. Really limits your ability to dig through bins for parts when you can’t feel your fingers.

    Glad to see a great business expanding!

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  • Continuity Consultant August 5, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    “Glad to see a great business expanding!”

    Really, does this apply here?

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  • E August 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    The downtown location is right by my office so they’re my new best friends. And now they’re opening a store by my house?? can it be?? 😀

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  • Dan Hawk August 5, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    What time do they open in the mornings? I ride thru Ladd’s every day. Pretty convenient!

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  • amos August 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    @Continuity Consultant: Yes.

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  • bh August 5, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    And he’ll be right next to Palio’s 🙂
    Bike shop + coffee next door = win.

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  • Andrew August 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Good to see that the pawning of stolen goods is so lucrative.

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  • Continuity Consultant August 5, 2009 at 11:54 pm


    I know the answer to my question, and it is a resounding no… For many reasons.

    I really do not recommend shopping there at all.

    Sorry to burst your bubble..

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  • E August 6, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Again with the hating. That didn’t take long.

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  • beth h August 6, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I can’t imagine how anyone could efficiently heat a gigantic metal Quonset hut. I’m amazed they had a run there as long as they did.

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  • mercier August 6, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Andrew & Continuity – can you elaborate? I am not familiar with the accusation of selling stolen goods. Do you have proof?
    Continuity – you hint that you have reasons not to shop there but there are no details.

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  • Anonymous August 6, 2009 at 10:08 am

    St. Johns? Great to hear! North Portland seems like a good fit.

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  • Continuity Consultant August 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I did not give details on purpose.

    Trying to be halfway pleasant about it.

    In regards to this shop, being pleasant about it is very difficult for me.

    For numerous very valid reasons…

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  • mercier August 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Continuity – the problem with making statements without particulars is that they are then just innuendo. I am sure that many people would be interested if there is a problem with this shop (I know I would) but when you present veiled criticism, it is not helpfu.

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  • biddy August 13, 2009 at 8:15 am

    How about the time they sold me a used tube with a hole in it as a new one? (I didn’t open it till I got home…). Lucrative.

    Or the fact they routinely sell your parts that are left there to be worked on.

    Let’s point out that the recyclery has FAR more used bikes than any other shop in town, even much older, more established ones like Citybikes. Why do you think that is? I couldn’t even ballpark how many people have warned me about the stolen bikes.

    But does anybody want to work for a guy who throws tools at his employees? Promotes a great culture of fear and resentment that is taken out on customers. Brilliant…and apparently lucrative.

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