When doors close, windows open. It's the type of thing someone says to a friend when something bad happens. Sometimes windows get smashed open, like when a car gets stolen. Shayne O'Keefe's car was stolen once. Though he couldn't have known it at the time, O'Keefe's immediate misfortune nearly ten years ago set in motion a chain of events that now has him opening up his own bicycle shop on one of the busiest blocks in Corktown.
O'Keefe and business partner Ted Sliwinski are readying Metropolis Cycles for an April 8 opening. Located at 2117 Michigan Ave., Metropolis will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
Not being able to afford a new car, O'Keefe quickly joined the Back Alley Bikes program in the Cass Corridor. He worked as a volunteer, earning a bike through the program while simultaneously becoming obsessed with cycle work. He started finding bikes on Craigslist and in the trash and fixed them up for friends. He worked at the Hub of Detroit as a mechanic. Eventually, he was promoted to general manager. The shop was so busy, he says, that he saw them lose customers as a result of wait times. Detroit was becoming more and more of a bike city. The demand was there. O'Keefe decided to split off on his own.
"If it wasn't me, it would be ten other people trying to open a bike shop there," says O'Keefe. "I just wanted to get there first."
The bike stock at Metropolis will be roughly 95 percent new with an emphasis on commuter cycles from manufacturers like Bianchi and Raleigh. It won't be a high-end bike store, says O'Keefe, and customers can expect bikes that fall anywhere within a $200 to $2,000 price range. He hopes to carry something for every skill set, including bikes for children and comfort bikes for parents.
In addition to retail, the 3,000 sq. ft. space will include a full-service cycle repair shop. Parts and accessories will also be for sale.
Source: Shayne O'Keefe, co-founder of Metropolis Cycles
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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