The Velo House of Tunbridge Wells has announced it is to close. It was opened in 2014 and was immediately nominated for an award from the Society of British and International Design awards, one of only two UK venues to make the shortlist in the Restaurant and Bar Design category. It also won plaudits from the Coffee Stop Awards.
The business – which will close on the Saturday before Christmas – was founded by Olly Stevens, who left a job in the city to pursue his passion, enlisting his wife’s interior design business to transform what was a former bank into a mecca for cyclists. The café had a big screen showing major races.
“This has not been an easy decision but as nearly every advert ends these days, when the fun stops, stop,” said Stevens on the shop’s Facebook page.
"Four years ago we set off on a journey to create a special place for cyclists to call home in Tunbridge Wells. It’s been a hell of a ride but sadly we have now reached the finish line. It’s time to pack up our wheels and move on to the next ride.
He added: “Alas for every tailwind and downhill run there are pesky headwinds and steep hills on any ride, with our energy stores falling low it is time to take some time off the bike before bonking completely and recharge our batteries. From every early break a few counter attacks will emerge and we hope a new group of riders will emerge with a new home for cyclists in the area."
The shop’s mechanic will be creating his own business.
According this historical analysis, the UK bicycle retail trade is currently experiencing worst refresh rate since the 1960s.