LOS ANGELES, CA (BRAIN) Monday May 14 2012 8:25 AM MT—Flying Pigeon LA is packing up its city and cargo bikes and moving down the road to a new location next to a popular café that co-owner Josef Bray-Ali sees as a better fit for his business.
“My brother and I aren’t the brightest retailers out there. We opened in a real working-class area of L.A. where there’s not a lot of foot traffic,” Bray-Ali said. Though the new location isn’t far down Figueroa Avenue from where Flying Pigeon has operated since 2009, the flow of customers in and out of Antigua Cultural Coffee House, including cyclists coming off the L.A. River bike path nearby, is sure to boost the shop’s profile, he believes.
The coffeehouse’s owner also shares Bray-Ali’s commitment to staging community and cultural events. “I think there’s a real synergy between the two businesses. I want to create a nexus like the Bike Kitchen” in East Hollywood with its complementary neighboring businesses, Bray-Ali said.
He also appreciates that the 100-plus riders who might show up for one of Flying Pigeon’s dim sum or brewery rides or bike arts tours will have the café for a pre-ride hangout.
At 900 square feet, the new shop is similar in size to Flying Pigeon’s current location, but it has the added benefit of being next to the shop’s warehouse. “We sell city bikes and cargo bikes and big bulky things, so now we can convert some of that to retail as well,” Bray-Ali said.
Flying Pigeon, named after the transportation bike that rose to prominence in Maoist China, carries bikes from such brands as Pashley, Bobbin, Linus, Torker, Brompton, Box Bicycles and Gazelle.
Bray-Ali also keeps a stock of contemporary Flying Pigeons from China that he strips down to the frame and rebuilds with fresh components. “They have a really low build quality, but the frames are great,” he said. Want the full genuine article? Stock, still-in-the-box Flying Pigeons are sold through the shop’s website.