Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:36 pm
The retailer’s new location, which will also be the new site of its corporate office, is slated to open within the first few months of 2020 at 187 E. Becher St.
The 12,000-square-foot warehouse building has undergone a “pretty comprehensive” buildout since it was purchased in 2017, said co-owner Amelia Lukic-Kegel, which may explain why the project’s original spring 2019 target completion has been delayed.
“We’ve been anxiously waiting,” said Lukic-Kegel. “We’re really excited that we could take an awesome, existing older building and then breathe new life into it.”
A license application recently filed with the City of Milwaukee lists January 15 as a proposed opening date. She said that timeline seems on track, and spring 2020 is “very doable.”
In addition to Wheel & Sprocket’s new and used bike and repair service shop and corporate office, the facility will house a cafe serving light food, coffee and alcoholic beverages.
“We really believe that coffee, beer and bikes go hand in hand and work really well together,” said Lukic-Kegel.
The combination of those offerings in one place is why Wheel & Sprocket is calling its new location “the bike shop of the future.”
All profits from the cafe will benefit the Chis Kegel Foundation, which was established in honor of the company’s late owner and president, Chris Kegel, who died in 2017. The foundation works to improve access to cycling through in the Milwaukee area through events and programs.
Lukic-Kegel is one of Chris Kegel’s four children still involved in the business. Her brother Noel Kegel is also co-owner.
Wheel & Sprocket plans to rent out space at its Bay View facility to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Wisconsin Bike Federation.
Wheel & Sprocket first opened in 1973 with a store in Hales Corners and has since focused on expanding across suburban areas. Today, the bike store currently has locations in Fox Point, Hales Corners, Brookfield, Delafield and Franklin, one in Middleton, two in the Fox Valley and two in the Chicago suburbs.
Lukic-Kegel said the company’s move into Milwaukee comes as a response to an increase of people migrating to the city.
“We think it’s a good sign and we’re really excited to see this urban movement of younger families and more people living in the city,” she said. “We’re excited to be part of it.”