Lend a hand

Bicycle Longmont needs volunteers to help with its move Saturday. Volunteers can stop at the former Sears Auto Center at the Twin Peaks Mall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Email info@bicyclelongmont.org for more information.

LONGMONT -- Oskar Blues Brewery confirmed on Thursday plans to open a new restaurant and bar in southwest Longmont with a "bike-centric" focus.

"It's a different concept, and it's a marriage of things we're passionate about," said Oskar Blues spokesman Chad Melis, adding that the space will cater to Longmont's growing bike culture.

The rapidly growing Longmont-based craft brewer has signed a lease on the 5,200-square-foot space at 600 South Airport Road in the Meadow View Shopping Center at Airport and Nelson roads, confirmed Jack Kruse, a broker associate with The Colorado Group, which acts as broker for property in the southwest Longmont shopping center.

"It should be an incredibly exciting thing for this center and really for all of Longmont," he said.

Melis said that the new space will serve both beer and food, and there also will be a retail area for Reeb Cycles, the bike company that Oskar Blues owner Dale Katechis started.

Other details are scarce. Melis declined to reveal the name of the restaurant, which he said has not yet been trademarked.


Also unclear is when it will open. Kruse said Oskar Blues plans to renovate the space, and he has been told that the restaurant will be ready as soon as Dec. 1, though he added "that may be a little optimistic." Melis said the new space may open in early 2013.

In May, Oskar Blues signed a letter of intent to lease the former Union Pacific Depot in downtown Boulder, but ended negotiations to lease the property in late July. Melis said plans for that building were not the same as the ones for the new space in Longmont.

The new space is less than 3 miles from Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids, on the southwest corner of Hover and the Diagonal Highway. The brewery's original restaurant, Oskar Blues Grill & Brew, is at 303 Main St. in Lyons.

Melis said he doesn't expect the new place to divert customers from the Longmont restaurant because the new venture goes "in a different direction."

Jacks Corner Café previously occupied the building, until it was seized last year for failing to pay sales taxes owed to the state. The Colorado Department of Revenue also seized Caper's Italian Bistro & Tap, which was in that space before Jacks, for nonpayment of wages and withholding taxes. Caper's closed in February 2010. The space's previous tenant, Hunters Restaurant & Pub, shuttered in February 2008 after about a decade in business.

Also included in Oskar's new space will be "innovative meeting space" for Bicycle Longmont, a local bicycling group, to host workshops, as well as some kind of retail area for the nonprofit to sell its rebuilt bikes, Melis said.

"We're always looking to support what they're doing and honestly getting more people in Longmont on bikes," he said.

It's welcome news for Bicycle Longmont, which just last week signed a six-month lease to move temporarily into the 5,700-square-foot auto bay of the former Sears Auto Center, which left Longmont's Twin Peaks Mall in June.

"Basically, what we're looking at is a home for cycling in Longmont," said Bicycle Longmont president Ryan Kragerud.

The lease agreement, which runs through Feb. 28, with an option after that to go month-to-month, charges Bicycle Longmont only for utilities used, said Lori Giggey, Twin Peaks' marketing manager.

"We will help support their efforts, and then we would benefit from the people they would bring in," she said.

Bicycle Longmont volunteers are scheduled to move two tractor-trailers of bike and bike parts into the space on Saturday from the nonprofit's former work space, a 1,000-square-foot repair facility at Sun Construction, 1232 Boston Ave.

Bicycle Longmont plans to use the space both as a bike garage and as a repair and storage space for the holiday bike program, which distributes bikes at Christmas to children in low-income families. Last year, volunteers distributed about 450 bikes during the holidays.

Starting next year, Kragerud said Bicycle Longmont plans to offer workshops on bike handling, maintenance and safe commuting at the former Sears site. The nonprofit also plans to start an earn-a-bike program, which would provide bikes to low-income residents in exchange for volunteer hours.

When Bicycle Longmont moves out of the mall -- Twin Peaks Mall's owners, NewMark Merrill Mountain States, announced earlier this week that the mall will be torn down in 2013, with a reopening targeted for fall 2014 -- the agency will need to find a new warehouse, Kragerud said.

Magdalena Wegrzyn can be reached at 303-684-5274 and mwegrzyn@times-call.com.