Breakfast at Heritage Bicycles

If someone asked me last year what kind of business I would most like to see open in my neighborhood, I might have said {deep breath} a combination bike shop and coffee shop that sells steel frame mixtes made in Chicago, cupcakes, and fancy coffee, with a friendly atmosphere and a communal table where I could gather my bicycling friends.

I mean, that’s awfully specific, but I could have said it.

Bicycles + Coffee = Love

Either someone read my mind or I am not the only lover of bikes, coffee, community, and local goods, because exactly this kind of business just opened a hop, skip, and pedal from my home. This magical place is Heritage Bicycles.

Excited by this development, my friend Elizabeth and I met there for breakfast this morning.  I learned that Heritage is a sort of sister store to the popular Bowery Lane Bikes in NYC.   The owner, Michael, was a founding partner of Bowery Lane.  He and his wife decided to bring the concept to his native Chicago.

"Coffee Guy" Cameron and owner Michael

Unlike Bowery Lane, Heritage is way more than simply a bike manufacturer and seller.  The place is also a full-fledged cafe, communal hang-out spot, and bike workshop.

Heritage perfectly executes the mixed-use concept.  Potential cafe customers should have no fear of being stuck in a crammed and greasy workshop while trying to enjoy their cappuccinos.  Everything about the space is beautiful, from the light-bathed reclaimed wood to the mirrored walls and sparkling chandeliers.  There is no reason to limit cafe visits to bike-related errands.  Anyone looking for a relaxing neighborhood spot would love Heritage, regardless of any interest in bicycles (although perhaps uninterested parties could be persuaded by the beautiful display bikes).

The coffee and food live up to the gorgeous space and inviting atmosphere.  With pastries from local favorite Southport Grocery and coffee beans from Portland’s Stumptown, the fare is as good as – if not better than – other independent coffee shops in Chicago.  Waaaaay better than Starbucks, it should go without saying.  While I’m partial to Chicago roasters Metropolis and Intelligentsia, the Stumptown brew was delicious.

On the other side of the business, potential bike shop customers should not write Heritage off as all style and no substance.

Separate from but open to the cafe is a bike workshop room.  There are two bike mechanics on staff and interns from non-profit West Town Bikes’ educational programs.  The crew will assemble Heritage bikes and perform maintenance work like a regular bike shop.   The place seems low key, the opposite of pretentious.

There is another small area that stocks accessories, including clothing, saddles, books, and Yakkay Helmets.  (You can also shop online.)

And the bikes?  Why, they’re the best part, of course!

In addition to carrying the Bowery Lane made-in-NY bikes, Heritage has its own Chicago model, the Daisy,  a mixte starting at $695 for a single speed, $795 for a 3-speed, and $850 for a 7-speed.  I haven’t had a chance to test ride her yet, but she is lovely.  Split top tube, Velo Orange Belleville bars, brass bell, sprung leather saddle, cork grips, chain guard, fender = love!  The best part?  She’s made of American steel and welded, painted, and assembled in Chicago.

After seeing the shop, chatting with Michael and Cameron, and enjoying breakfast, Elizabeth and I set off for work well-fueled.

I foresee that I will mention stopping by Heritage for coffee a lot in the future, especially since it’s along my commuting route. For sure I will stop by for their Grand Opening party this Saturday, 6 – 11. Heritage Bicycles is located at 2959 N. Lincoln.  Note: I think the shop will be closed the rest of the weekend and then open for normal business starting next week. See you there?  :)

For all of you who don’t live in Chicago, you might want to consider moving there, where all the cool kids are.  In the meantime, you can get your paws on these bikes through the power of the internets.

{Chicago’s bike geeks are all excited about Heritage.  Read Elizabeth’s take  on Bike Commuters and another write-up on Grid Chicago.}

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57 thoughts on “Breakfast at Heritage Bicycles

  1. Cupcake Ride says:

    Heritage Bicycles looks lovely and your accompanying photos even lovelier!

  2. Thom Wilson says:

    What! No Hot Tub?
    Ha, just kidding – looks great, nice photos.

  3. Very exciting, especially that you will get to try the Bowery Lane bikes. Please be sure to post a review!!

  4. amanda*rose says:

    How completely SWOONful! <3 <3 <3 Love that you shared this! :) Happy Thursday!

  5. anniebikes says:

    Yes, someone else just did a review of the shop and I do like the Daisy…the simple lines are beautiful. Can you bring your bike inside or at the very least is there a bike rack in front where you can keep an eye on on it while you get coffee?

  6. anniebikes says:

    Yes, someone else just did a review of the shop and I do like the Daisy…the simple lines are beautiful. Can you bring your bike inside or at the very least is there a bike rack in front where you can keep an eye on on it while you get coffee?

  7. my hyggelig says:

    on my Chicago list (that is if I ever get there and am not working :)). thanks for the review and thanks for having a lovely shop like this in the United States of America! simply ~ lovely.

  8. my hyggelig says:

    on my Chicago list (that is if I ever get there and am not working :)). thanks for the review and thanks for having a lovely shop like this in the United States of America! simply ~ lovely.

  9. Ghostrider says:

    It’s a beautiful shop…and there are far too few such shops that I’ve seen. I wish them the best of luck!

    I am also glad you mentioned local Chicago-area bean roasters, because I read this and thought “Stumptown? WHY?!?”. Yeah, it’s good coffee, but give the Chicago peeps some extra exposure!

  10. Ghostrider says:

    It’s a beautiful shop…and there are far too few such shops that I’ve seen. I wish them the best of luck!

    I am also glad you mentioned local Chicago-area bean roasters, because I read this and thought “Stumptown? WHY?!?”. Yeah, it’s good coffee, but give the Chicago peeps some extra exposure!

  11. Guest says:

    So jealous!! Just when I move out of Chicago, my coffee/bike dreams are fulfilled. All the more reason to think about moving back. Does anybody know if the Daisy is available for test rides at Bowery Bikes in NYC?

  12. Lauren says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous shop! And the people who work there so look awesome & friendly :)

    I just found out the other day that Megabus added a Chicago route from Nashville, and you can ride for $1! So I am going to try to investigate Chicago this year and check out all the places you’ve posted :) Yay!

    • Dottie says:

      They are! :)

      Trisha and I had a long email conversation about the new Nashville – Chicago megabus route on Monday. I think we’ve decided to meet in the middle in Indy for a weekend. Let me know when you make it up this way. There’s a great local yarn store in the neighborhood, too.

  13. Lauren says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous shop! And the people who work there so look awesome & friendly :)

    I just found out the other day that Megabus added a Chicago route from Nashville, and you can ride for $1! So I am going to try to investigate Chicago this year and check out all the places you’ve posted :) Yay!

    • Dottie says:

      They are! :)

      Trisha and I had a long email conversation about the new Nashville – Chicago megabus route on Monday. I think we’ve decided to meet in the middle in Indy for a weekend. Let me know when you make it up this way. There’s a great local yarn store in the neighborhood, too.

  14. jen hill says:

    That’s just… awesome

  15. jenhillustrator says:

    That’s just… awesome

  16. Mandy says:

    So excited to have Heritage so close to Powell’s! Their coffee is delicious, the atmosphere perfect and the people so friendly! (The granola bars are also amazing!) Welcome to the neighborhood, Heritage!

  17. Mandy says:

    So excited to have Heritage so close to Powell’s! Their coffee is delicious, the atmosphere perfect and the people so friendly! (The granola bars are also amazing!) Welcome to the neighborhood, Heritage!

  18. Bikeboy999 says:

    I have been to Chicago a few times and note that all addresses are usually stated with what L stops are nearby. Can you say where this is in relation to Union stn, I will have 9 hours to kill after North American Handmade Bicycle Show later next month.

    B

    • LGRAB says:

      The shop is not far from Union Station, about 7 miles. Union Station is downtwon and Chicago address numbers indicate how far a location is from downtown. 2959 N. Lincoln means the shop is 29 blocks north of downtown. To get there by public transportation, you can walk 3 blocks east from Union Station, get on the brown line L train at Quincy station (the brown line goes only one way in the Loop) and take it to Wellington station. From there, walk three blocks west on Wellington until you hit Lincoln.

      Have fun at NAHBS! I’m jealous. :)

  19. Bikeboy999 says:

    I have been to Chicago a few times and note that all addresses are usually stated with what L stops are nearby. Can you say where this is in relation to Union stn, I will have 9 hours to kill after North American Handmade Bicycle Show later next month.

    B

    • LGRAB says:

      The shop is not far from Union Station, about 7 miles. Union Station is downtwon and Chicago address numbers indicate how far a location is from downtown. 2959 N. Lincoln means the shop is 29 blocks north of downtown. To get there by public transportation, you can walk 3 blocks east from Union Station, get on the brown line L train at Quincy station (the brown line goes only one way in the Loop) and take it to Wellington station. From there, walk three blocks west on Wellington until you hit Lincoln.

      Have fun at NAHBS! I’m jealous. :)

  20. Guest says:

    Is Elizabeth your “friend” or “girlfriend”? Just curious.

  21. adventure! says:

    Cool! And I was a bit puzzled by them using Stumptown over local roasters. (I mean, Portland is soooooooo 2007!) Don’t get me wrong Stumptown is good, I drink it most days, it’s roasted a mile from my house, etc etc. But it would be cool to go along with the theme to have coffee delivered by bike to the cafe. Maybe Stumptown needs to find someone to bike coffee to Chicago. (Hint: I need a job!) ;-)

    And I really love the concept of this place. Portland doesn’t have anything like this…yet. Velo Cult is moving from San Diego into PDX this spring, and they’ll be opening up a bike shop/cafe/bar. Sounds cool!

    And April wants one of those mixtes!

  22. welshcyclist says:

    The shop looks great, and as usual you look gorgeous!

  23. welshcyclist says:

    The shop looks great, and as usual you look gorgeous!

  24. Blithe Bicyclist says:

    Oooo . . . seriously, if they sold knitting yarn too, I would be emigrating tomorrow. Best of luck with their new venture and I am jealous of your new commute ‘pit-stop’.

  25. Blithe Bicyclist says:

    Oooo . . . seriously, if they sold knitting yarn too, I would be emigrating tomorrow. Best of luck with their new venture and I am jealous of your new commute ‘pit-stop’.

  26. GravelDoc says:

    Your are so fortunate to have such a beautiful shop and cafe! Also looks like the snow is melting nicely with the streets being much clearer than when we were there last weekend.

  27. GravelDoc says:

    Your are so fortunate to have such a beautiful shop and cafe! Also looks like the snow is melting nicely with the streets being much clearer than when we were there last weekend.

  28. citygirlrides says:

    this has become a really popularized idea in the bay area, why not right?! coffee and bicycles as a business is the best of both worlds. love their decor ideas.

  29. E A says:

    I was in there again this morning and someone came in all the way from the suburb of Batavia!

    The bright sunshine really accentuated this spaces clean lines and openness. (Time to trade in my other “coffee shop gift cards” for use at this place :-)

  30. E A says:

    I was in there again this morning and someone came in all the way from the suburb of Batavia!

    The bright sunshine really accentuated this spaces clean lines and openness. (Time to trade in my other “coffee shop gift cards” for use at this place :-)

  31. l** says:

    Excellent write-out and accompanying photos! It’s on ‘Must Drop-by’ list when I next tour the U.S. of A.
    L

  32. Aaron Whaley says:

    I love the concept of the shop…the bicycles need some work, more specific specifications and sizes. I realize they are selling bikes to the 98 percentile, unfortunately I fall outside of that. None of their bikes would fit me… :(

    Aaron (aka 2whls3spds)

  33. Anonymous says:

    It looks beautiful and incredible!

  34. Will Vanlue says:

    I’m so excited that this is only a 5 minute bike ride from the B&B my wife and I are staying at in May. It’s great to know I’ll be able to get Stumptown if I get homesick!

  35. Cameron says:

    Cameron is a good name for the “coffee guy”. Once I loved Sweet Thang. Now it seems another visit to Chicago may be in order.

  36. bikegal says:

    Beautiful store, who designed it? Oh and Michael Salvatore was not a founder of Bowery Lane Bicycles, but a partner.

  37. bikegal says:

    Why was my post deleted?

  38. [...] 70 while I was there), and impressed and appreciative of all the attention his shop has received locally and nationwide (people all around the country have been linking in).My friend Alexander Richard [...]

  39. Markn says:

    I am wondering if by chance I saw you taking pictures of this place Monday January 23. I am from out of town, and was meeting up with someone from Chainlink in Ravenswood that morning. I stopped and asked you if I was on the right road. You confirmed that I was. And of course those awesome bikes grabbed my attention! I am pretty sure that was you! Anyway, if so thanks for your help. I found it.

  40. amanda*rose says:

    How completely SWOONful! <3 <3 <3 Love that you shared this! :) Happy Thursday!

  41. [...] this people spot featured below while biking down Lincoln Avenue, conveniently located in front of Heritage bike shop and cafe.  This people spot will be a permanent feature, except during winter for snow plowing purposes, and [...]

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