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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Bryan Winston’s growing business enterprise at the head of the Tweetsie Trail will take a huge leap forward when he opens Cranky’s Pump-N-Pints and e-Bikes of JC in the top and bottom floors of a new building at 640 East Maple St.
The upstairs pub featuring eight taps for craft beer, kid-friendly beverages, local food trucks and a mini “pump track” for kids will sit just across Maple from Local Motion, the bike shop he opened five years ago.
“At first we were maybe going to put a couple of Air BnBs there because I’m a general contractor and a builder,” Winston said, pointing to the new building that will house the taproom and e-Bike store.
Just like it did at Local Motion, the market led him in a different direction. Back then, Winston was going to dabble with selling some drinks and renting out bikes in the tiny former store at East Maple and Alabama Street (since renamed Van Brocklin Way for late mayor Ralph Van Brocklin).
“We came to a point of people wanting us to service bikes and sell tubes, then we developed into having a full on bike shop with mechanics, service works, parts and bikes for sale,” Winston said.
After several years of “phenomenal” growth at the shop, and after buying and razing a dilapidated house across the street, Winston saw his plans for the steeply sloped, small lot take a turn.
“Like a lot of bike shops and businesses across the country, when they bring together beer and bikes and like, kids with the pump track we have up there, it just sort of meshed,” Winston said. “We felt that each business we have here with these two as well as (Local Motion) will complement each other.”
Each level of the new building is a little over 1,000 square feet. Winston said e-Bike sales that have been at Local Motion will exclusively move to the new sales area — and he said those sales grew faster than traditional bike sales did last year.
E-bike rentals will continue out of the old shop. When those E-assisted riders, or traditional riders, walkers or runners get back to the beginning of the trail, they’ll have quite the wind-down spot available.
“Biking and beers goes well together and it seems like it’s a great conclusion to a day out on the bike, a day out running or just walking, people are always looking to enjoy the atmosphere,” Winston said.
Winston knows he made a good call when he bought the first building as the Tweetsie was in its infancy.
“We get people from all across the country, countries around the world and it’s a destination point from which people are getting to experience the outdoors of East Tennessee,” he said.
“Anything outdoors is booming in our area and the City of Johnson City has really made it a major focus for them to be a destination point for the outdoors, and we’re fortunate enough this building I purchased over five years ago happened to be at the head of the Tweetsie Trail and is a perfect fit.”
Randi Feuchtenberger has been Winston’s right hand for several years, acting as Local Motion’s general manager and preparing to expand her duties with the growth. While the beer is sure to be a draw, she said the overall plan focused on family friendliness.
“We’ll also have popsicles and slushies and things like that for the kids … so this should be a really good space for families to come and parents can have beer, maybe grab a bite to eat at a food truck while their kids get to ride around and have a good time,” Feuchtenberger said.
She said she’s still working on getting all the food trucks lined up but expects a rotating stable. Demand isn’t anticipated to be a problem.
“Whenever our rentals come back a lot of people from out of town are always looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat or somewhere to grab a drink, walk around a little bit, so with us being right here…it should be a good hot commodity.”
If Cranky’s is able to get its beer license at the June 15 Johnson City Commission meeting, they could be open within just a few days of that.
WHAT: Taproom and E-bike shop at the head of Johnson City’s Tweetsie Trail in a new two-story, 2,000-square-foot building.
WHERE: 640 E. Maple St.
WHO: Bryan Winston, owner of Local Motion Bike Shop (across from new business).
WHEN: Building has certificate of occupancy and could be open by mid-June.