Another major Portland retail bike shop is leaving town.
Even in a down economy, Portland’s bike business boom shows no signs of letting up, especially when it comes to bike shops. Throughout the city — from Northwest to East Portland — shops large and small are expanding or opening their doors for the first time.
On the corner of NW Lovejoy and 17th, Western Bike Works plans to open their gleaming new, 10,000 square foot shop this weekend (ironically, the former tenant was a car dealership). I stopped by yesterday for a chat with co-owner and GM Jay Torborg.
Universal Cycles has set up shop in Northwest Portland. The company was founded about 10 years ago as an online retailer based in San Francisco and online sales remain a large part of their business today. They’ve been in Portland for 5 years, but their previous storefront was just a tiny place out near the Airport.
On Saturday, I poked my head into their new space on NW 18th and Thurman. Wow. It’s a beautiful and spacious store (more photos here) that will add exciting new energy to the bike scene. The ceilings are high, there’s a ton of wood and of course lots of bike gear filling the aisles. They’re still setting things up but they’re open for business and welcoming customers (old and new) with a smile.