A couple of days ago we were thrilled to discover that Huckleberry Bicycles has opened in Mid-Market to be, as co-owner Jonas Jackel puts it, “a gas station on the freeway”. Meaning that their location at 1073 Market Street (between 6th and 7th streets) is at the heart of the busiest bicycle riding artery in San Francisco. Of course, this location, right across the street from the shamefully ever-abandoned Hibernia Bank Building means that they are in a really interesting intersection — in the thick of the blazing glory of the Tenderloin.
In spite of all the challenges they’ve had to overcome to open in this area, they appear to be off to a good start with a full-service bike shop that carries several brands for all kinds of people — roadies, crosses riders, and city commuters (such as the increasingly popular PUBLIC Bikes). They have also been testing the waters by having a bike repair kiosk on weekdays in one of the unused newsstands along Market Street. Inside, though, they have all kinds of accessories, apparel, parts, and of bike tools and gear. It’s a nice shop that took awhile to find a proper spot given that apparently retail spaces along Market Street tend to run from gigantic caverns to small holes in the wall.
But, above and beyond all of this we’re excited about Huckleberry Bikes is moving here because after talking to Jonas, I quickly realized that he “gets” the neighborhood. He and his business partners are one of the first new retail shops to open up in this particular area in literally years given that the pawn shop/check cashing demographic have been the primary renters as of late. He knows that there are issues in the area and what the actual cause is behind them, but also that it can easily be turned around and made not only more livable, but actually helpful to all those who are being left behind with the city’s current approach.
We welcome Huckleberry to the hood and wish them no end of success in their business and promoting a more bike-friendly Market Street and San Francisco. Go say hi on Twitter or Facebook if you’re as excited as you are.