Business, Development, People

Wheelhouse Detroit opens pop-up bike shop in Compuware Building

You’re probably used to hearing the zap, zing, zoop of the latest video game after the presents are opened on Christmas morning. Still, no matter how much technology we bring into this world, a kid … and many adults … still want a brand new bike under that tree.

If you shop in Downtown Detroit it’s easy to get that bike. Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop owners Karen Gage and Kelli Kavanaugh have opened a Downtown pop-up shop at the Compuware Building, across from Campus Martius. It’ll be open straight through to Christmas Eve.

The store carries bikes from Kona, Origin8 and Sun – including hybrids, cruisers, folding bikes and adult tricycles – and bike accessories ranging from stocking stuffers like bells to more substantial gifts like a messenger bag or a rack for a car. You’ll find quality brands like Bell, Giro, Planet Bike, Dimension, Kryptonite, Jandd, Timbuk2, Topeak, Saris, Park, Continental and Michelin. Local hand-made goods include basket-liners and t-shirts from Wound, Bikes & Murder and Detroit Bicycle Company.

I asked Kelli what opening this pop-up means to her business, which is open on the RiverFront during biking season. “Being open year-round is our ultimate goal,” she says. “A holiday pop-up shop at least helps us carry on some of the momentum we build up during the peak season. It also lets Downtown workers see what we have to offer in terms of variety, quality and prices. Hopefully, they’ll patronize our RiverFront location next year.”

Opening this business in the Compuware Building helps realize the city’s ultimate goal to bring more retail Downtown.

“The more retail the better for Downtown — and all of Detroit,” she says. “The more options, the more we can re-evolve into a shopping destination. The city’s come a long way residentially and recreationally — now there needs to be a focus on retail.”

Why did they choose the Compuware Building?

“A couple of reasons,” Kavanaugh says. “First off, we were familiar with the location because we participated in a group pop-up there last year. It is Class A, lots of traffic, and everyone there is really helpful and supportive. We looked at numerous locations in Midtown and Downtown, and the Compuware team was ultimately the most responsive, and the space was accessible and affordable.

“There might be a lot of vacant retail spaces Downtown, but property owners do not always act eager to fill them. It’s really too bad that there is not more creative thinking about the value of filling a space, even temporarily, as a value enhancer to a vacant property,” she says.

So get in gear and head to the pop-up Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop.

Location: Compuware Building, 1 Campus Martius
Hours: Open Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Eve, Wednesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Products: Full range of bicycle retail, including major brands such as Kryptonite, Pedro, Planet Bike, Park, Lazer, Bell, Giro, Timbuk2, Master, Topeak, Wald, Knog, and much more. New bikes from Kona, Origin8 and Sun, including cruisers, single speeds, folding, adult trikes and hybrids, starting at just $250

Gift certificates are available at the shop and on-line.

More information is available at Wheelhouse’s website and Facebook page. Contact Wheelhouse at

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