“Cycle Smithy has been helping Chicagoans find the perfect bike for 49 years — but the shop will close in September.
“Owner Mark Mattei, 71, said it’s time for him to retire. He’ll let the lease run out on the business, 2468 1/2 N. Clark St. In the meantime, everything’s 30 percent off, “and maybe I’ll throw what’s left over in the lake,” Mattei said.
“Employees taped up signs this week and did a small chalk drawing of Mattei, his white hair flying in all directions, on the board outside the shop. It’s a relatively quiet end for a shop that’s long been beloved for its vintage bikes — and for pairing Chicago kids with their first bicycles.
“‘Most people started riding one as a kid,’ Mattei said Monday. ‘You can ride around the block, away from your parents and into a neighborhood you’ve never seen.’
“‘Bikes are freedom. What’s not to love?’ he said.
“The more than 40 vintage bicycles Mattei displays inside — a history lesson in cycling since the 1800s — are not and have never been for sale.
“‘I can spend all day talking about how these aren’t crap,’ Mattei said. ‘Every bike has a story.'”
“Cycle Smithy at 2468 ½ N. Clark Street is scheduled to close in September 2022. (Liederman, Block Club Chicago, 7/27/22)
Cycle Smithy Will Close Beloved Lincoln Park Bike Shop In September After 49 Years; Cycle Smithy has bikes from the 1800s and onwards. Owner Mark Mattei will take them home and sell everything else for 30 percent off, Mack Liederman, Block Club Chicago, 7/27/22