Golden Pliers, a bike shop and cafe, opens on North Skidmore at Interstate

Inside the new Golden Pliers.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)
Owners Kevin Purcell and Becky Newman.

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.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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5 years ago

can’t wait to check it out! Glad to hear they have some vegan options as well!

5 years ago

This looks great. As a bike based business they should avoid one of the problems that plagues business’s in this block. The auto-centric residents of the apartments above this space are so starved for free parking that they park long term in the 30 min and 2 hour spots around the building, and there does not seem to be enough enforcement to stop them. I stopped in to the bagel spot in this building once very very early in the morning when no other business’s were open and I was the only one in the bagel shop. I remarked to the server that it was lucky I was on a bike because there were no available parking spots. They said it was par for the course, the residents parked all-night in the 30 minute spots and hoped they would not get caught.

5 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

To be clear, the time limits are only in effect 8am to 6pm. I don’t doubt that people are abusing them, but “parking all night” isn’t necessarily illegal.

5 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

It’s true, parking in this neighborhood is difficult, and it’s only gotten worse with the recent construction projects a block away. All the more reason to bike or take the MAX. We are working with the city to install 5 more blue staples on Skidmore in front of our shop, since the bike parking around the building is also pretty inadequate.

Huey Lewis
Huey Lewis
5 years ago

Kevin and Becky are two of the absolute coolest, greatest people I know. I love them. Very stoked for them and the shop is great and cute af.

5 years ago

Kevin and Becky rock!

Afrikaans: Sterkte! (pronounced: Stehrk-teh)
Arabic: حظ جيد – بالتوفيق (pronounced, Haz jaid – be al tawfeeq)
Bengali: আল্লাহ হাফেজ (pronounced, Allah hafez)
Bulgarian: Успех!
Catalan: Bona sort
Chinese: 加油 (pronounced, “Jia you”)
Danish: Held og lykke
Dutch: Veel geluk
English: Good luck
Farsi: Bedrud
Filipino: Pagpalain ka
Finnish: Onnea
French: Bonne chance
Frisian : Folle gelok
German: Viel Glück, Alles Gute!
Greek: Καλή τύχη (pronounced: Kali tihi)
Hawaiian: Maikaʻi pomaikaʻi
Hebrew: בהצלחה (pronounced: Behatzlacha)
Hindi: Shubhakaamana
Hungarian: Sok szerencsét!
Indonesian: Semoga beruntung
Italian: Buona Fortuna
Japanese: Ganbatte kudasai
Kannada: Shubhavaagali
Korean: haeng un
Latin: Bona Fortuna
Maltese: Awguri
Mandarin: Zhu ni hao yun
Marathi: Shubhecha (Shu-bhe-cha)
Malay: Semoga berjaya
Malayalam: Nallathu Varatte
Norwegian: Lykke til
Português: Boa sorte
Romanian: Noroc
Russian: Udachi
Spanish: Buena suerte
Swedish Lycka till! (pronounced (IPA): lʏka tɪl)
Turkish: Iyi Sanslar (pronounced — ee-yi Shans-la
Welsh Pob lwc
Sanskrit: Shubhamasthu

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
5 years ago

What’s a mix tape?


Hello, Kitty
5 years ago

It’s a blend of scotch and duct.

Alan 1.0
5 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I thought it meant cork or leather over gel.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
5 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I’ll settle for Scotch and soda.

Lenny Anderson
Lenny Anderson
5 years ago

And its on the way to Swan Island where you can enjoy a mile of Willamette Greenway Trail along the River. Daimler Trucks NA has a ton of bike commuters as well. Great addition to the neighborhood.