SEATTLE (BRAIN) — G&O Family Cyclery, a three-year-old retailer that specializes in cargo and family transportation bikes, was damaged by an early morning blast Wednesday that destroyed three adjacent businesses in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood. The initial blast was behind a coffee shop next door to the bike shop and was apparently the result of a gas main leak.
Store co-owner David Giugliano (better known in the neighborhood as Davey Oil) told BRAIN on Wednesday morning that he had not yet been allowed to get near the shop, but that the structure appeared to be damaged and perhaps will have to be leveled.
"There is a good chance we won't be able to continue to use this space," he said.
"From what I can see, it looks like an advertisement for kickstands because there is rubble everywhere (in the store) but the bikes are all still standing," Giugliano said. Giugliano lives a few blocks away and heard the explosion at around 2 a.m. The explosion caused a fire that wasn't extinguished until midmorning. According to local news reports, nine firefighters were treated for injuries from the fire.
The shop was in the process of expanding and was using a storage space across an alley behind the building to store customer bikes. The storage building was undamaged. "So there is some good news: No customer bikes were damaged. And everything in the store was replaceable or insured," he said.
G&O sells cargo bikes and family transportation bikes, what Giugliano calls "car-replacement bikes." It also is expanding into e-bikes and works with bike fleet operators including restaurant delivery and messenger fleets. The store has two full-time employeees in addition to the two owner-operators, Giugliano and Tyler Gillies.
"We are pretty deep into our customers' lives; we help them get their kids to school every day. So we are going to need to get operating again, maybe in a temporary space, and we are going to probably have to ask for help from the community."
He said the blast happened at a "terrible time of year for us. Cash-flow-wise it's going to be hard to recover."
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray pledged to help the neighborhood's businesses get back on their feet. In a statement Wednesday, Murray said, "Greenwood is a close-knit neighborhood and an incident like this is felt by the entire community. I know neighbors will do everything they can to support these businesses as they begin the long and challenging task to recover and repair from this incident. The City will also be there to do what we can to help those affected with the cleanup and help local business owners as they work to get back on their feet and reopen their doors."