There will be a grand opening later, says owner Anne “Spike” Toler (above), but Coqui Cyclery, the new bike shop at the intersection of Semmes and Forest Hill avenues, will open for business this Saturday, April 14th. (Originally, the opening was scheduled for Monday, April 9th but some unforseen delays have forced the change.)
The shop has been in the works since November 2011. Since then, Toler has sunk about $100,000 into making the vacant retail space across the street from Crossroads Coffe and Ice Cream the kind of “neighborhood bike shop” she always thought the area needed, complete with a lounge with TVs and a kids table and a dog drinking station outside.
“I didn’t always think I wanted to own a bike shop, but I always thought that we needed a bike shop here [by Crossroads] because it’s where everybody gathers,” she said. “The closest [bike shop] is Carytown, but it’s not that close if you’re cycling and you need something. We want people to come hang out, watch the Tour [de France], do whatever.”
Toler said she wouldn’t have undertaken the endeavor if head bike mechanic Clint Kronenberger hadn’t signed on. “Every bike shop sells good bikes,” she said. “But it’s like cars, you’re going for the mechanic. He has such a following. Him working on a bike is like us tying our shoes. He was building wheels when he was nine years old.”
Coqui will carry Giant (which Rowlett’s used to sell), Jamis, Pivot and Landshark bikes. The latter is a custom brand out of Oregon that is fabricated to each rider’s exact dimensions. Toler added that they intend to have as many parts as possible in stock. Those that aren’t will be brought in in 24 hours or less. Most bike repairs, as well, should have a 24-hour turnaround.