"Around the country, bike shops are shifting gears," reports Jen Wieczner in The Wall Street Journal (8/29/13). According to a 2013 survey of 4,000 bike shops by the National Bicycle Dealers Association, "12% have coffee bars, 11% offer spinning classes and almost 5% serve beer. About 1% offer massages, yoga, or full-service restaurants … For some shops, diversification is a survival strategy. While more people are riding bikes – cycling in New York City alone has more than doubled since 2005 – fewer are buying new ones."
The CamRock Café and Sport in Cambridge, Wisconsin, is at the forefront of the diversification, among other things offering art openings as well as string-quartet and steel-drum concerts – even a New Years’ Eve party, where "a guest chef" makes “cioppino in the café fireplace." This is enough to earn Mark Sewell’s loyalty to a point where he wouldn’t think of patronizing another bike shop, even though it doesn’t necessarily have the lowest repair rates. "It’s your general store for cool stuff," he says.
Matt Bodziony of NBX Bikes in Narragansett, RI says his place has always had "the local neighborhood element" adding that hot yoga classes and such attract newcomers "because the experience is so fun." At Velo Cult, a bike shop and bar in Minneapolis, a "couple exchanged vows beside a mechanic’s workbench. And when a man walked into the shop right before the ceremony, Velo Cult’s mechanic-cum-events coordinator, didn’t blink an eye. He changed the tube in five minutes and sent the cyclist on his way.” "It’s no wedding in the Hamptons," he says, "but I would not change a thing about it."