Joe Bike

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

Posted by on June 25th, 2018 at 2:35 pm

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Avatar
    EricIvy June 25, 2018 at 2:53 pm

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

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Avatar
    bikeninja June 25, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      Gary June 25, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      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.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

    • Becky
      Becky June 25, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      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.

      Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Avatar
    Huey Lewis June 25, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 13

  • Rivelo
    Rivelo June 26, 2018 at 5:56 am

    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

    Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Avatar
    Middle of the Road Guy June 26, 2018 at 8:36 am

    What’s a mix tape?


    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty June 26, 2018 at 11:31 am

      It’s a blend of scotch and duct.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Avatar
        Alan 1.0 June 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        I thought it meant cork or leather over gel.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Avatar
        Middle of the Road Guy June 26, 2018 at 2:34 pm

        I’ll settle for Scotch and soda.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson June 26, 2018 at 9:37 am

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Avatar