Scott McIntosh said Ancien is named for the finishers of the Paris-Brest-Paris, a race he's completed twice. [DNAinfo/Sam Cholke]
HYDE PARK — On Tuesday, a new bike shop geared toward city commuters, opens for business on what its owner says is the safe part of town for cyclists: the South Side.
Ancien, a bike store and cafe named for one of the oldest bike races still going, will celebrate its grand opening at 1558 E. 53rd St. at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Scott McIntosh, who opened the shop with his partners Chris Dimmick and Chris Anderson, said he’s hoping to be a hit among South Side riders, who he said enjoy a much better lifestyle than North Siders.
“It’s safer — seriously safer,” McIntosh said. “You have wide streets, and the lakefront is significantly safer to ride on.”
McIntosh has painted the side of the shop under the 53rd Street Metra stop with Ancien (pronounced ahn-cee-an) in big letters, the term for finishers of the Paris-Brest-Paris, a 745-mile race he’s completed twice.
He said the atmosphere around the race is one of camaraderie around bicycles and food, which he wanted to bring back to Chicago, the hometown of America’s first racer in the Paris-Brest-Paris, Charly Miller.
Ancien quietly started serving its full menu on Friday before the grand opening on Tuesday.
Ancien quietly opened its café Friday for a test run with dishes like the Cuban style sandwich with French ham, fontina cheese, whole grain mustard and butter; a farm stand salad with bitter greens, crisp apples and pears, green beans, carrots, radish with maple-tahini dressing; or an Avo toast with mashed avocado, toasted nine-grain bread, a poached egg, togarashi seasoning and olive oil for breakfast.
“Our salads are really flavorful and with a good mix of proteins,” McIntosh said.
Ancien offers Bespoke bike frames custom made to a cyclist's measurements.
He said the store is stocking a broad range of commuter and road bikes for South Siders, who have a much easier time riding Downtown because of lack of congestion on the bike paths and bike lanes.
“There’s a lot of commuters, but we’re getting a lot of people going on longer day rides,” McIntosh.
For the really serious riders, Ancien is one of the few stores in the city to stock Moots, high-end bikes made in Colorado from aerospace-grade titanium.
Pickier riders can also get a Bespoke bike frame. Ancien has started making its own custom steel frames designed to fit the exact measurements of the cyclist.
Ancien will celebrate its grand opening with an event at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and is now offering its full menu and catering.
Ancien is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
The hummus toast is served on nine-grain bread,topped with carrots, radish and cucumber. [Courtesy of Ancien]
The Frenchie croissant has French ham, baked eggs and butterkase cheese. [Courtesy of Ancien]
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