Flywheel Bicycle Solutions in southwestern Oregon’s Rogue Valley will soon become the area’s first bike shop to serve beer and wine. Owner Ian Bagshaw plans to put in six beer taps and pour mostly local brews during regular business hours.
Bagshaw decided to diversify and offer something to set his shop apart, something he feels is key to a brick-and-mortar retailer’s success.
“The retail environment has changed a lot over the past eight years I’ve been in business,” he said. “Since the beginning, I’ve always known that just being a place to buy stuff wasn’t going to work.”
While Flywheel does stock some product and has a few bikes on the sales floor, the store’s focus has primarily been on service. Adding beer to the menu was an easy choice since the building Bagshaw moved into almost two years ago formerly housed a restaurant.
“We ended up with a concrete countertop bar that immediately became a social hangout,” said Bagshaw. “Customers come in and watch us work on bikes and watch bike races on the flat screen behind the bar.”
Many of those customers jokingly asked for a beer when they sat down, prompting Bagshaw to seriously consider putting in a few taps. He also thought that selling avid cyclist, customer and local winemaker Gus Janeway’s wines in the shop would go over well.
“Our wines have always been popular among cyclists,” said Janeway, owner of Velocity Cellars. “It will be great to be a featured wine in a local bike shop.”
Flywheel will serve Velocity’s bike-themed “Velo” vintage, and eventually all wines will be available on tap.
Bagshaw expects to have permits in place and the beer flowing by Oct. 1.