SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Of the many reasons shop owners decide to sell their businesses, seismic retrofit is not usually one of them. In San Francisco, Bradley Woehl is facing just that situation. He’s been forced to close the venerable American Cyclery in January and February to shore up its 120-year old building at the corner of Frederick and Stanyan Streets.
“They’re putting pillars and I-beams right through the middle of the showroom,” Woehl said. “I can live through it, close the shop, disassemble and put it back together, and the disruption goes far beyond that.”
Woehl has lost three “great” mechanics due to the closing. “It’s for sure not what they signed up for,” he said. “The loss of staff is as disruptive to a small business as it could be. If the shop burned down, I’d be insured, but there’s no coverage for something like this.”
American Cyclery was founded by Oscar Juner in 1941. Woehl is the third owner and bought the shop in 1996. At its peak, American had two stores and grossed $2.2 million. Last year, single-store sales were “just under $900,000,” according to Woehl.
“I just decided it’s …read more