TALENT — Ian Bagshaw took note of the many customers who bellied up to the bar in his bicycle shop and jokingly asked for a beer.
So, he decided to do something about it and apply for a liquor license so he could serve up local brews as he and his crew sold and worked on bikes.
Bagshaw's Flywheel Bicycle Solutions, which sits at 550 S. Pacific Highway, is set to become the only bicycle shop in the Rogue Valley that sells beer and wine.
In his heart, Bagshaw is a gearhead who loves bikes and dabbles in beer.
"I will always be primarily a bicycle shop, but I thought it would set my shop apart if I served beer and wine," Bagshaw said. "Bikes and beer. They get along pretty well."
The shop features a long slab of rock that serves as a bar, where customers will be able to sit and sip a brew while Bagshaw and his employes work on their two-wheeled rides.
The plan is to put in a handful of taps that will pour mostly local brews, Bagshaw said.
The shop's front door is plastered with an Oregon Liquor Control Commission notice, which has been a popular talking point for several of Bagshaw's customers.
"We've had people come in just to ask about the sign," he said.
Beer and wine sales in bicycle shops are nothing new in Oregon. Several shops in Portland and Bend are pouring pints as customers browse the racks.
Bagshaw contacted some of these shop owners and learned they were very happy with the combination of bikes and beers.
Bagshaw believes it's vital that brick-and-mortar stores of all kinds seek out ways to offer services other than simply selling things.
"You can buy anything you want on the Internet cheaper than you can get it anywhere," he said. "What we want to do is provide a place where you can do something else besides just shop. If you want to come in here and watch some of the Tour de France and have a beer, you can. You can't interact with people that way on the Internet."
The OLCC will inspect the shop after the taps and kegs are set up and ready for service. The city of Talent has signed off on Bagshaw's request to serve alcohol, leaving only the final approval of the OLCC before the brew starts flowing, Bagshaw said. Muuqi Maxwell, who works at the shop, is looking forward to serving pints as he strips and replaces gears.
"I've always had a fantasy of being a bartender, and at least here I won't have to deal with crazy drunk people at two in the morning," Maxwell said.
Bagshaw said the shop won't ever take on the feel of a bar or club.
"This is not the place you come to get drunk," Bagshaw said. "But if you want to have a beer or two and talk bicycles, then you are welcome to come in and hang around."
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.