A Roanoke County bike shop is almost ready to begin work on its future location on the Roanoke River Greenway .
East Coasters Bike Shop last year purchased from Roanoke the old Virginia Museum of Transportation along Wiley Drive in the Wasena neighborhood.
The building is a shell, and bike shop owner Wes Best has said he will need to invest about $500,000 to install heating and cooling, a new electrical system, plumbing and more.
Best wants to keep the interior much the same as a tribute to the building’s history, and so those who visited the 35-year-old building when it was the museum will still recognize some features. Workers won’t touch the exposed rafters, and the floor — which is part brick and part concrete — will stay, Best said.
The plans call for a 700-square-foot cafe that will sell sandwiches, wraps and beverages, Best said. The cafe will have a 1,000-square-foot deck for patrons.
Best is in the process of working out a lease with the cafe’s operator, who he said has experience in the restaurant business. Best did not want to disclose more details about the cafe and its operator until the lease is finalized.
Before work can begin, the plans for the building are being reviewed by the city’s department of planning, building and development.
When the plans are approved, Best can apply for building permits and work can begin. Best estimates it may be a month before that happens. He expects to open the new shop in early fall, he said.
The current shop at Promenade Park, near the intersection of Colonial Avenue and Electric Road, will close when the new shop opens.
Also in the column, Minuteman Press has opened in southwest Roanoke County, and Family Dollar is building a store in Salem.