Chicagoan Pours Love of Bikes, Coffee into Business

Have you ever considered sipping a cup of coffee while looking for a bike? That is precisely what an entrepreneur began in the Lakeview neighbourhood.

Michael Salvatore of Chicago has combined two of his passions: coffee and bicycles.

“The idea of combining bikes and coffee came about as a result of our involvement in street fairs and festivals and our inability to afford rent in New York,” Salvatore explained. “It was really easy to see how people engaged with me when they had a cup of coffee in hand, and I thought, let’s maintain that environment.”

Salvatore is a fifth-generation Chicagoan, but he and his friends started a bicycle business in his basement while living in New York. When he opened his first shop, Heritage Bikes & Coffee in Lakeview, that concept gradually evolved.

“Well, heritage was a term I coined to refer to not only my family’s Chicago heritage, but also to the cycling heritage,” Salvatore explained. “In Chicago, we come from a long lineage of manufacturers who once called this city home.”

The mashup is quite straightforward. Customers can stop in and enjoy a cup of coffee while perusing a selection of custom-built bicycles. Additionally, there is assistance with repairs. Alternatively, they can simply come in, sip a cup of Intelligentsia coffee, and socialise.

“What’s cool is that as a customer, you get to ride all the bikes. “We offer five distinct models,” he explained. “You choose one and work with a mechanic to build it out.”

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