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Vecchio's moves across Boulder after 20 years

Published September 16, 2020

A version of this article ran in the September issue of BRAIN.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Vecchio's Bicicletteria, known globally as a picturesque retro-styled roadie hangout, is getting ready to move from the location on Boulder’s Pearl Street it has occupied since its founding in 2000.

Pearl Street is home to two other bike shops, plus a Rapha Clubhouse, all less than a mile from Vecchio’s. But it’s not competition that drove store owner Jim Potter to move. It was high rent and limited parking. Plus the promise of some creature comforts at the new place. 

“It will be nice to have hot and cold running air,” he said, referring to the aging system in his current location.

The Pearl Street store is red brick with 13-foot ceilings, interior brick walls and a charming wood-framed entry that is a star on Instagram.

Both locations are about 1,500 square feet. The new spot, in a shopping center less than 2 miles to the northeast, has lower ceilings and painted walls. But Potter said he’s determined to make it “feel like Vecchio’s.”

"The walls will be covered with memorabilia, anyway," he said.

The new layout will keep the mechanics’ workbench central and visible, but with a bar and stools providing some space between visitors and Potter, who is currently the store’s only mechanic. The location is easily accessible on bike paths and is on the corner of one of the busiest intersections in Boulder, at 28th and Iris Avenue. Potter said the store has a grassy area in back that will be ideal for bike demo tents.

Potter bought Vecchio’s from founder Peter Chisholm in 2013. The store sells Moots, Pegoretti, Waterford, and other custom brands. Service is the primary driver this year as COVID-19 has softened sales of high-end bikes. 

Since Vecchio’s opened, Pearl Street’s upscale shopping has spread eastward to encompass the block Vecchio’s occupies. “It just keeps gentrifying more and more. It’s gotten to be just too much for what I consider to be a repair shop,” Potter said. 

Potter will miss a bit of the “buzz” on Pearl Street. But he looks forward to servicing his old regulars who have stayed away because of limited parking on Pearl. 

“They might be able to hang out more, without worrying about getting a parking ticket. We have a pretty good presence: people who want to find us will find us,” he said.

Vecchio’s plans to open the new location, which is at 2725 Iris Avenue, in the first week of October. 

Potter in the old store.

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