The ride stuff
It's easy to miss Addison’s Bicycle Repairium, which sits tucked into the side of a former warehouse in Midtown on S Street. But bike enthusiasts and novices alike would do well to find it. Here, owner Addison Quarles' space boasts a beautiful bar that skirts the workbench on which he does his repairs. That's how Quarles—who also does time behind the counter at the Sunflower Natural Food Restaurant in Fair Oaks—says he likes it. He wants you to be there, chatting and hanging out with the shop cats while he works on your ride. Hell, he'll even brew you some coffee or tea. The shop, which opened April 1, isn't just about repairs, however. The 24-year-old also sells affordable rides and says he's trying to perfect the $300 bike. Quarles talked to SN&R about Sean Connery, sexy bars and why sometimes just a unicycle will do.
Tell me about these shop cats.
We've got Sage, and we've got Pepper. Sage is very much his own man. Just kind of comes and goes as he pleases. Pepper wears the pants, I'd say. She's a girl cat. I hear them bickering all through the night. About what, I don't know. They both have a habit of getting locked in, either here or the workshop next door. Sage once got locked in the [nearby] photo studio, which doesn't have windows.
Let’s say that Sage and Pepper are each historical figures reincarnated. Who are they?
Though he's still alive, I'd say [1960s-era] Sean Connery for Sage. Pepper is a bit harder to peg. She's complex. A complex cat … Ayn Rand.
What’s a “repairium”?
That's a good question. It's a fabricated word, first of all. It's a bike shop without very much to sell, but plenty to fix, I guess. There's always something broken, but you don't always have to buy a whole new bike or a whole new wheel or a whole new whatever. Maybe you might have to buy a part—a part of something more or whatever, but you're not going to have to buy a whole new bike.
Are we still talking about bikes?
I think so. Pretty sure. Yes.
You play a lot of music here. I’m going to say an emotion, and you tell me what will be on the sound system when you’re feeling that way.
XTC, Drums and Wires. Just the whole album.
Introspective or reflective.
Marty Robbins, on shuffle.
I generally try to leave if I'm pissed. But if something has to get done, Master of Puppets, Metallica. The whole album.
Mulatu Astatke. It's Ethiopian jazz.
I usually get pretty manic when I'm hungry, so the Bad Plus album, Suspicious Activity?
Most fulfilling part about running a bicycle repairium?
As typical as it sounds, it's helping somebody that would either get shoved out the door or just ripped off at some other shop in town—whether it be some old dude who just wants someone to talk to, or somebody who has no clue about bikes and just wants something that works, or wants their own bike to work.
What about when you have to fix some jerk’s bike?
Haven't had that happen yet. But the ideal would just be, “There's the fucking door. (Laughs.) Yeah, you know, there's plenty of other bike shops in this town. Don't feel obligated to come back to this one, dick.”
This is a sexy bar right here, facing the repair station.
Yeah, it's beautiful. Custom-made to fit the workbench. My boss at the Sunflower Drive-In is a carpenter by trade, but has been helping … run the restaurant for the past 15 years. [He] still does this kind of thing in his spare time, but after he gave me the door to use as a workbench, I asked him if he could help me build a counter to cap it off. Couple months roll by, and he suddenly says, “Hey, when do you want me to drop it off?”
Why put such a beautiful bar in a bike shop, facing the work area? What can a customer do on it?
You can drink your morning coffee or your mid-afternoon coffee or your late-night chamomile tea. Or just rest your elbows and talk all day. It's mostly just a comfort fixture. It's inviting and comfortable. It's about getting people to let it all out, to blab.
You have a unicycle. Why?
Sometimes you only need half a bike.
Finish the sentence, as it applies to Addison’s Bicycle Repairium: No shoes, no shirt …?
Come on in.
Follow-up question: What is your pants policy?
Cuff your right leg—keep it out of the chain.