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A focus on community needs and tribute to a former restaurant were the catalyst for a bike fix-it station at Smith’s latest Salt Lake City gas station, said Marsha Gilford, vice president of public affairs.
The new fuel center is at the location of the former Bill and Nada’s Café, the corner of 500 S. and 600 East. Gilford said they knew how much the café, which was demolished in 1999, meant to locals. So they began thinking of ways to bring a little of the spirit of community the restaurant embodied into the new center.
That was when Esther Hunter, chair of the East Side Community Council, suggested a bike station. Gilford said it just made sense. The store is in a location with a lot of pedestrian and bike traffic and she said even before the ribbon cutting, they saw cyclists stop and use the station.
“I don’t think this will be our last,” she said. “…It makes (the fuel center) distinctive and more community friendly.”
The fix-it station includes a universal pump, Allen and pedal wrenches, screwdrivers, bike tire irons and a bike repair stand. It’s open to the street and available to anyone and Gilford said the cashier at the fuel center will also sell tubes and tires in the kiosk.
Local bike enthusiast Brian Smith was at the station to demonstrate. He said the station has an advanced tool set.
“It’s nice because if you’re riding down here to get something from the store, you don’t have your bag full of tools or a pump… It’s a step toward a real commuter bike community,” Smith said.
Gilford said the store will also open a car charging station at the same store in about two months.