Shinola: Open for Business in Detroit

“Is that you, man?” I asked, pointing in the general direction of a set of framed portraits lining a wall of Shinola’s Midtown Detroit, Michigan, store.

“Yeah, that’s me,” he answered, smiling proudly.

At 7:00 a.m. on Friday, June 28th, Shinola opened its first Flagship Store to a long line of people anxious to spend some cash and soak up the Shinola vibe. I was there the night before, taking in the scene, and talking with one of Shinola’s watchmakers. The crowd was made up of Shinola employees and their families and a select group of local business and community luminaries.

“Are you from here—from Detroit?” I asked.

“Detroit born and raised,” he answered without missing a beat. “I never thought I’d be making watches, but it’s pretty cool.”

The former Willys Overland warehouse enhances the Shinola store's Motor City vibe

The former Willys Overland warehouse enhances the Shinola store's Motor City vibe

Having been born in the Great Lakes state I’ll admit a certain bias toward the Motor City, but the mood and atmosphere at Shinola’s store-launch party was incredible—inspiring. There was a definite sense of pride among the Shinola folks I met, perhaps something that stems from actually making things by hand, or playing some other role in a company whose product offering is so beautifully reminiscent of old-fashioned, American-made quality.

Lugged-steel frame, old-school cranks, chain guard: sexy

Lugged-steel frame, old-school cranks, chain guard: sexy

Not your ordinary bike shop

As with your typical copy of Paved, if you’re hell-bent on talking wattage, electronic shifting, aerodynamics or weight savings in grams, Shinola’s D-town store is probably not going to be your number-one choice for cycling goodies. However, if you have a discerning eye for lovely leather goods, journals, timepieces and handmade steel bicycles—as well as a varying collection of other fashion-forward, American-crafted fineries—you owe yourself a visit to 441 West Canfield Street next time you’re in town.

The Bixby mixte goes perfect with pink

The Bixby mixte goes perfect with pink

Not only does this new location—formerly a Willys Jeep warehouse—offer customers a hands-on experience with the Shinola brand, it also serves as the bicycle-assembly facility. Drop in, choose between the $2,950 Runwell or the $1,950 Bixby, decide the color that best represents you, and then head on over to the bar for some refreshing, cold-pressed Drought juice while you wait for one of Shinola’s mechanics to put the final touches on your new ride. And drink quickly, because you’ll want a little time to pick out the right watch to complement your bike.

Pick a color

Pick a color

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