For almost two years, the Leventhal family has been working toward opening a second bike shop in the Greater St. Louis metro area. Who could have guessed the original grand-opening date of Wheelhouse Bicycle in Creve Coeur would coincide with a historic pandemic?
“Well, obviously, the timing wasn’t ideal,” said store manager Nathan Leventhal, son of Hal and Jeanne, who also own Bicycle World in Belleville, Illinois. “We had a soft opening on April 23 and will have a new grand opening in July or August. We’re just waiting until everyone feels comfortable with it.”
In the meantime, Nathan says they’ve been putting the finishing touches on the store, which differs from Bicycle World in that it evokes a more modern aesthetic. “Fixtures, flooring, lighting, inventory…everything is updated,” agreed Hal. “Wheelhouse is a whole new identity. It’s why we wanted a new name, something fresh and snappy.”
The shop, which is located along an upscale corridor on Olive and New Ballas, carries quality brands like Cervélo, Niner, Giant, and Garmin. “This is a high-end area, so we have high-end products,” said Nathan. “But we want to cater to everyone. I’ll be just as happy to sell a $200 bike to a kid as to sell a $6,000 bike to an adult.”
Wheelhouse has space set aside for a studio with a Guru Fit System and certified bike fitters, which it hopes to have in place this summer. Also this summer, the shop plans to introduce weekly road and mountain bike rides; road rides will leave from the store while mountain bike rides will be held at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park (led by staff member and race veteran Sam Moore).
“We haven’t cut any corners,” said Hal. “We want people to come in and hang out, go for a ride, and come back.” The store has a lounge area with complimentary coffee, beverage cooler, fruit basket, and flatscreen TV.
“We’ve been really encouraged to open this shop, with Giant in particular being a partner throughout the process. And Nathan has the drive and ambition to make it a success,” said Hal.
“Bikes have been rolling out of the shop, new bikes as well as repairs that other stores haven’t been able to get to,” said Nathan. “Our goal is to be one of the top bike shops in St. Louis.”
Author: Brad Kovach is the editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine.
Featured Image: Jeanne, Hal, and Nathan Leventhal.