Local bike shop, cafe hybrid expands to Uptown


Lou Foglia

Heritage Bicycles General Store will open its new branch, Heritage Outpost, 1325 W. Wilson Ave., under the new FLATS high-rise in Uptown later in November.

By Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

Melissa and Michael Salvatore, co-owners of Heritage Bicycles General Store in Lakeview, are set to open Heritage Outpost, a new branch of their original bicycle and coffee shop, in Uptown by the end of November.

The Heritage Bicycles General Store, 2959 N. Lincoln Ave., first opened in early 2012 and combines a bicycle shop with a cafe, according to general manager Alan Gagne. The store locally manufactures bicycle frames and fits into Lakeview’s social community with its cafe, Gagne said.

“The way I like to picture it is as a husband and wife concept: Pop wanted the bikes and mom wanted the cafe,” Gagne said. “Together they work in harmony to be not just a retail space, not just a cafe outlet, but something a little bit more involved.”

The new branch, located at 1325 W. Wilson Ave. will be focused more on the cafe side than the bicycles, Gagne said. 

“We’re testing our waters [with the new branch],” Gagne said. “This will be a nice outlet for us to stretch our legs with cafe service. One thing that makes it pretty unique is there’s a walk-up window. Street service and fast-paced coffee service is the idea.”

Heritage Outpost will be situated in the lobby of the new 12-story high-rise FLATS building in Uptown. Gagne said the space is limited but will provide customers with the full coffee bar experience. 

Adam Rahn, coffee program manager for the Heritage stores, said the company has been working with Portland, Oregon-based Stumptown Coffee, but will switch to a local alternative for its  coffee. The new Heritage-brand coffee will be exclusively served at Heritage Outpost, Rahn said.

“Because of our emphasis on working as locally as possible, we’re getting the help of a local roaster who is for now unnamed [until we officially announce our brand of coffee],” Rahn said. 

Heritage has been working with Stumptown Coffee since they first opened their doors in 2012. Rahn said Stumptown has been cooperative, but Heritage was unable to ship the coffee and expand its brand. The store has a large online following and, so the owners decided to create a Heritage-specific brand that it can sell coffee nationally, Rahn said.

“At some level, it’s about brand expansion and putting our name out there on a national scale,” Rahn said. “But mostly it comes down to us wanting to get fresher coffee faster, which we can do with the Chicago-based roaster. We want to be able to have input on everything from branding and design to the roasts themselves.”

There is currently no set date for the new store’s opening, but Gagne said that although some parts of the building are not completed yet, the company is nearly ready to open its doors.

“We’re going to be the first tenants in the building,” Gagne said. “We want to move in first and create the culture and set the tone for the building and in the [surrounding] neighborhood.”