Sunlight streams into the windows of this Southwest Minneapolis shop glinting off the rims, spokes, and gears of row upon row of new and used bikes. It’s a big change for the retail space on this corner of 48th and Grand at 322 W 48th St. It’s been a welcome site for many in the neighborhood.
“The community’s been so welcoming,” said Charlie Siftar, owner of Charlie’s Tangletown Bike Shop. “We have joggers wave at us and say, we’re glad you’re here. People stick their heads in to say hi.”
One year after opening the bike shop that welcoming attitude is evident. On an afternoon visit you are likely to find a half-dozen groups of customers walking through the shop’s beveled glass door, some with bikes in tow looking for repairs, spare tires, helmets, or just to ogle.
Charlie himself has been in the cycling business for about five years after being downsized from his ‘real job.’ “I was a lifelong biker” he said. “I started building bikes in my garage while trying to figure out my next step. Meanwhile, I was looking for engineering jobs similar to the one I had, but decided I’d had enough of that life. The bike shop really is a labor of love for me.”
From there Charlie was brought in to manage a used bicycle shop in the Uptown neighborhood, and when the current Southwest Minneapolis space opened up, he started the shop as a partnership and after a season took up his new role as owner and face of Charlie’s Tangletown Bike Shop. Charlie said “the shop’s focus is helping our friends enjoy the city’s beauty on bikes.”
Many of the bicycles currently for sale in Tangletown are refurbished 10-speeds, mountain bikes, and cruisers, setting it apart from from most shops. New brands include Fuji, Breezer, SE, Terry and Surly as well as bicycles geared toward kid’s, Kazam balance bikes, Tag-a-longs, and trailers.
The shop is located across from Fuller Park in the heart of the SW Minneapolis neighborhood of Tangletown, known for it’s early 20th-Century water tower and surrounding tangled streets. It is bordered by the Lake Harriet and the Minnehaha Creek bike trails, all are part of the cities Grand Rounds 50 mile trail system. Riding the Rounds is a great way introduce yourself to the essence of Minneapolis.