Open just a week, ‘BikeBar’ on N Williams already a hit

Posted by on June 14th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

HUB Bike Bar on Williams-11-10

Inside BikeBar on Williams.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Hopworks’ new BikeBar on North Williams Avenue seems to be an instant hit. The small restaurant in the ground floor of the Ecoflats apartment building between N Shaver and Failing, is just the latest new bike-centric business to spring up on what Hopworks’ owner Christian Ettinger calls the “Williams bike highway.”

“We’ve had a great response from the neighborhood so far, business is about 10% better than we expected for the first week.”
— Christian Ettinger, owner

Ettinger told me today that even with a very quiet opening, he’s thrilled with the response so far. “Business is about 10% better than we expected for the first week.” A bike racer himself, Ettinger said about 25 people from the Short Track mountain bike races out at PIR last night came straight from that event to the pub.

From the BikeBar name to the ample bike and the row of Oregon-made bike frames that hang over the bar, Hopworks owner Christian Ettinger leaves no mystery who he’s trying to appeal to.

Here’s a list of the “bike friendly features” as listed on the front page of the menu:

  • A bike frame canopy over the bar featuring frames by members of the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association
  • 75 bike parking spaces (combined with staple racks on Williams and two large ribbon racks out back)
  • A place to fill water bottles near the main entrance
  • Loaner bike tools
  • “Bike friendly take out specials”
  • Loaner U-locks in case you forgot yours
  • “Plug Out” exer-cycles that you can spin and generate electricity while you wait for your order.

I swung by last week and the place was buzzing. Check out the photos below for a look around…

Photos from Jim Golden (which you’ll recall from our post back in April) adorn the walls…

You can spin while you wait and generate electricity with these “Plug Out” exercycles (Ettinger says each RPM generates one watt of power that goes back into the building)…

The front is lined with staple racks…

And there’s plenty more bike parking in the back…

And a closer look at those gorgeous, Oregon-made frames above the bar…

Hopworks has planned a “HUB to Pub” grand opening event tomorrow (6/15). An organized ride (led by Portland Bicycle Tours) from the original Hopworks location (2944 SE Powell Blvd) to 3947 N Williams is set for 5:00 pm. Show up for free bike check-ups and $2 beers.

At the event, people will be encouraged to donate to local non-profit bike shop, North Portland Bikeworks. A $10 donation will get you BikeBar gear and two free beer tickets. More details at HopworksBeer.com.

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23 Comments
  • Avatar
    IanC June 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I love this town.

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    BURR June 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Put a bird on it

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    marshmallow June 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Always self conscious about walking into public eateries while in revealing spandex…not anymore! It’s expected.

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      Hart Noecker June 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      You should still feel self-conscious. We’re still giggling at you.

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        dmc June 15, 2011 at 12:47 am

        Yep. We are. 😀

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        marshmallow June 15, 2011 at 1:43 am

        “with you”…ha!

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      A.K. June 15, 2011 at 9:13 am

      OK, I luuuuurve wearing my lycra bike gear (I don’t ride in street clothes often), but seriously – with every step you take away from your bike you look more silly in it.

      On the bike = badass
      At an outdoor table with your bike nearby = acceptable
      Inside a bar with your bike locked outside = silly

      Just my opinion, sorry. 😉

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    Sean June 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Hopworks is awesome.

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    Paul Smith June 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Now if the rest of that building didn’t look like a bomb shelter. It’s like it got a big scoop of monolithic ugly spooned on!

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      Joe C June 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      You’re right, it isn’t the prettiest building, but you should see the apartments inside! They more than make up for it (and they’re completely solar-powered). Local artist Klutch is also doing a big mural on one side of the building.

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        Paul Smith June 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

        Good to know. I think that while what’s inside that counts, the exterior in this case matters too 🙂

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    Brodehl June 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Loaner locks. Awesome.

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    John Lascurettes June 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Ate there with the fam this weekend. Love all the bike details in the fixtures. Favorite subtle detail: bottle display on the wall holders are bottle cages.

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    Max June 15, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Just two questions:

    1) What does cyclocross have to do with a sub sandwich filled with italian meats?

    2) Why have electricity-generating bikes outside when every socket inside is filled with a wattage hogging incandescent bulb?

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      A.K. June 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      1.) Why is a raven like a writing desk?

      2.) All the more reason to supplement the high energy usage with electricity-generating bikes! Maybe they feel guilty about it.

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    Kristen June 15, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Love it! But– how’s the food??

    That picture of the bike racks out back made my eyebrows shoot up, and my mouth drop open with “wow”.

    So awesome.

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    JM June 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Don’t forget, cycling under the influence has the same consequence as driving. Please be safe out there.

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      MB June 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Hey JM, I don’t think you can do as much damage on a bike. Although it is dangerous and illegal to ride while drunk, it’s not the same as driving drunk. Not even close.

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        A.K. June 16, 2011 at 8:30 am

        I think the point is the cops will treat it the same.

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    jmr15 June 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Aaah, awesome pub next door too… Old Lompoc’s 5th Quadrant… darn good food, damn good beer.

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    Todd Boulanger June 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    But why why why did they install those ‘wave racks’? when will architects be bike savvy in this town?

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    Nick Union June 15, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Todd, I agree. Those curvy things are pretty bad. (Not as bad as those helical ones though.)
    Maybe there needs to be some guidelines written up by actual bike rack users and disseminated to architectural circles somehow.

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      BURR June 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      as much as they suck, I believe that the wave racks are still an acceptable design according to PBOT’s bike parking guidelines.

      http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?&a=58409&c=34813

      However, they don’t meet the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals guidelines, because they don’t provide two points of support for the bicycle frame (the city guidelines only require one point of support for the frame plus the ability to lock at least one wheel to the rack)

      http://www.apbp.org/?page=Publications

      Beyond that, the capacity of wave racks is often inflated by a factor of 2, which is probably one reason why architects like them, they take less space.

      Beyond that, more than 50% of the wave rack installations I see are too close to a wall or other obstruction, but it looks like they’ve avoided that pitfall in this instance.

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