Bike shop to open on Main Street
On a sunny, breezy Sunday afternoon, Eudora's Main Street sometimes resembles a motorcycle rally.
Eudora residents Matt Montgomery and Tina Lencioni were encouraged Sunday as they observed at least three large motorcycle groups and some stragglers cruising down Main Street.
Deciding not to pass up an easy opportunity to spread the word about his new business, Montgomery approached a group of unfamiliar, leather-clad bikers to pass out business cards and tell them about a new shop that he plans to open.
DC Custom Crafted Cycles, Accessories and Apparel will open May 1. The future shop at 729 Main Street is a first-time business venture for Montgomery and Lencioni, and they have big plans.
Montgomery will open the shop with parts and a couple motorcycles for sale. It is a kick-start of what he wants to develop within two years into a custom motorcycle shop.
The store will also have biker-related leather apparel and other clothing and accessories for male and female motorcycle enthusiasts.
"We're going to cater quite a bit to the women bikers because they don't have anywhere to shop," Montgomery said.
Montgomery and Lencioni chose their hometown of Eudora as their first choice for opening the shop because they said there was a good market and a need for quality products in the area.
Montgomery estimated that about 80 "charity rides" cruise through Eudora every year, bringing anywhere from 50 to 300 bike enthusiasts at a time through town.
Opening the shop will fulfill a longtime dream of Montgomery's. Growing up, his stepfather was a Motor Patrol Shriner, so Montgomery has a seasoned appreciation for motorcycles.
"I just always loved them," he said. "Just the freedom to be in the breeze, and the camaraderie of everyone you ride with."
Montgomery said he hoped to one day open an official Harley Davidson shop on Kansas Highway 10.
Montgomery and Lencioni were determined to open DC Custom Crafted Cycles in Eudora, but they said finding a good spot to lease wasn't easy.
"There were several empty buildings but nothing was available," Montgomery said. "We looked and looked, and due to the lack of quality rental space, it took us several months to come up with a quality place."
Montgomery said he hoped the Eudora City Council would consider creating regulations, specifically for downtown buildings, that would encourage a more vibrant retail area.
"I think the city needs to make some changes and some policies on empty buildings," he said, pointing to five empty buildings across the street that he said should be used for retail space. "The retail sales tax would be good for the city and (new retail shops) would make the downtown more active."
He suggested the city could help building owners who couldn't afford the renovations to secure low-interest loans.
"It would be good for the building owners, too," he said. "It would create an income for them."
Montgomery presented some of his ideas to the Council in a March meeting, asking Council members to look seriously at ways to encourage downtown building owners to fix up dilapidated buildings so they could be used again for commercial purposes.