Portland’s newest bike shop quietly opened its doors on Friday. Kevin Purcell and Becky Newman are the people behind Golden Pliers, a small shop and cafe at 1451 N Skidmore (just east of Interstate) that will focus on repairs and carefully selected accessories.
Purcell is a former service mechanic at River City Bicycles and more recently, manager of 21st Avenue Bicycles, a shop that closed its doors last month. Newman is the owner of Makeshifter Canvas Works, where she handcrafts bags, apparel and other accessories — many of which are now sold in Golden Pliers.
I swung by the shop on their first official day of business and it was already buzzing with activity. People sat in the cafe tables sipping drinks and others browsed the menu and product selection. The shop has a very welcoming vibe that’s more akin to a cozy corner bakery than a place to get your bike tuned up. Speaking of food, they offer quiches, nuts, granola, and an assortment of baked goods from Portland-based Wildflower Baking and vegan specialists, Sweetpea Baking Company. At the leather-covered bar (which was already there thanks the wine bar that used to occupy the space) you can order from a quality selection of beers on tap, espresso and coffee drinks, and an assortment of other refreshments. There’s even a popcorn machine!
Purcell says he’s a dealer for All-City and Crust bikes, but don’t expect to see them fully built-up on the showroom floor. Instead he’ll work with customers on special builds. Just tell him what you’re looking to do, and he can work up a quote, order all the parts, and build up your machine. The shop has an expertise in bikecamping and adventure riding, so if you’re looking to explore backroads, this is the place for you. Golden Pliers also has a relationship with Page Street Cycles, the north Portland-based brand of handmade bikes from Joseph Ahearne and Christopher Igleheart.
Newman plans to make her bags and other items in the shop, it’s just a matter of time before the sewing machines are up-and-running. It will be fun to watch her stitch up Makeshifter bags.
The location of the shop is ideal. There’s a MAX light rail stop nearby, it’s right on the main route to the popular Skidmore Bluffs, there’s a lot of new residential construction in the neighborhood, and the busy Interstate Avenue corridor is just a few yards away.
It’s early days, but I have a hunch Golden Pliers will quickly become a cherished piece of the north Portland bike scene. I highly recommend stopping by! Don’t miss the official grand opening party on June 30th.
Good luck Kevin and Becky! Great to have you in the neighborhood.
— Golden Pliers (1451 N Skidmore) is open 10-7 Tuesday through Sunday. GoldenPliers.com
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