Opening at 7 a.m. weekdays and serving local coffee, a new West Town bike shop is aiming to serve commuters.
Ancien Cycles will open its doors June 16 at 688 N. Milwaukee Ave.--one of the city's most-trafficked bike lanes. Regular operating hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to co-founder Scott McIntosh. Most of the city's bike shops that do repairs don't open before 10 or 11 a.m.
McIntosh's goal was to create a bike shop that fit the lifestyle of urban bike commuters, he said. In addition to being a competitive cyclist, he has worked in the hospitality industry and at Turin Bicycle in Lincoln Square. Pulling on these eclectic experiences, the shop will serve locally sourced beer and coffee alongside its bicycles, clothes and gear.
"We tried to think outside the box in terms of what's unique and tied to the needs of active people," he said.
In the future, McIntosh hopes to open a restaurant and bar attached to the shop, he said. Other bike shops-turned-bars and restaurants have been popping up in other cities, including Minneapolis, San Francisco, Denver and Brooklyn. For McIntosh, this is evidence enough for a successful business model, he said.
"We're doing something that we think ties into this zeitgeist of the city's bike lanes, the bike share and all parts of a developing culture of transportation," he said. "Being able to offer food, beverages, entertainment, I think increases the viability of the bike shop as a community center."
Ancien's opening week, June 16-20, coincides with Chicago's Bike Week. To celebrate, Ancien will offer free coffee from nearby Big Shoulders Coffee and a do-it-yourself pit stop where people can perform small repairs or put air in their tires, McIntosh said.
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