Not a plain Jane.
It’s hard to call Heritage of Chicago a bike shop–most of its clientele is there for the coffee (as masterfully brewed as it gets). The environment is light and inviting, an artistic refuge for the community of students, entrepreneurs, neighbors and novelists who live/work nearby.
The boutique in the back is filled with atypical cycling gear. On site mechanics fix flats and build bikes right there amongst the lattes. And these aren’t bikes that come in a box. Heritage designs and welds (by hand, out of American steel) their own marvelously customized bikes.
The Jane is a tribute to the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (a Chicagoan) for her charity and social reform efforts, “all while being a classy, elegant, and well-loved lady”. Jane Adaams would no doubt appreciate the “swooping masterpiece of metalwork” that bears her name.
Mike Salvatore (a fifth generation, super nice Chicago guy, also famous for Bowery Bikes of NYC) and his staff welcomed us when the Chicago weather did not during our spring photo shoot. We still can’t thank all of them enough for the fuel, generosity of spirit and the warm welcome we received there. If you’re local, you’re lucky and if not, it’s worth the pilgrimage for the coffee alone.