CHICAGO (BRAIN) — Founded by two friends who share a background in both the bike and food industries, newly opened Ancien Cycles caters to lifestyle cyclists and enthusiasts alike. By early summer, shop owners Scott McIntosh and Mike Fierstein will also open Roll Out café next door, featuring a full bar, restaurant and patio beer garden.
"We are creating a neighborhood 'adventure' bar and restaurant that will be connected to Ancien by an adjoining door," said McIntosh. "We want to give people yet another reason to visit our brick-and-mortar bike shop while serving our very progressive community."
Renowned Chicago chef Kristine Subido will serve as executive chef at Roll Out, which will feature craft beer and cocktails and forward-thinking neighborhood food, including burgers, stews and soups.
McIntosh said that his team's collective restaurant and hospitality management experience helps elevate the retail bike shop. "When I'm working in the bike shop, I definitely put on my bar/restaurant service hat," he said. "Excellent service and a memorable experience are as important in the retail setting as in a restaurant."
When conceptualizing Ancien Cycles, McIntosh and Fierstein drew inspiration from the Paris-Brest-Paris, the 1,200-kilometer race held every four years in France since 1891. A person who completes the PBP wins the honor of being called an 'ancien', and both McIntosh and Fierstein have earned the distinction. They plan to complete PBP again in August 2015.
The 2,980 square-foot gallery-style shop is located on Milwaukee Avenue, one of Chicago's busiest commuter corridors. According to McIntosh, more than 6,000 commuters pass through each day, so Ancien Cycles will open early in order to serve them.
Ancien Cycles stocks bikes from Opus, Ritte, Alu-Boo and Moots, with focus on commuter and lifestyle products and bikes—also inspired by the Paris-Brest-Paris. "The style of bicycles that are best suited for events of PBP's length make for ideal commuter bikes as well," said McIntosh.
McIntosh also said his dedication to the Moots brand runs deep due to a long history and many miles logged on his own Moots. "My passion for the brand stems from lots of time living on my Moots," he said. "So it's exciting to be able to carry the brand at our store."