Soho Bikes

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I was given a brief to fit out a whole shop for bike retail and servicing with a coffee bar and seating.

To go against the grain of the many minimalist, clinical, even sterile bike shops in the city. The client chose to use mainly reclaimed materials with splashes of new industrial fittings and features.

The reclaimed softwood floorboards came from a church in the north of England. The old science lab lroko worktops used for the coffee bar and bike workshop counter were sourced from defunct colleges and schools across Yorkshire. Scaffold boards and reclaimed roof timbers used for display shelving and furniture came from reclamation and demolition companies around Sheffield.

After much planning and discussion this project took about 6 weeks from start to finish, beginning with sourcing all the materials right through to completed installation in the shop.

The main feature of the shop is the floors. They are reclaimed pine floorboards mat have been glued down to the concrete. The ground floor floorboards were merely scraped clean with a machine made fit-for-purpose by Ally Fraser Wood Works. it basically consisted of a pillar drill with a head made from wire brushes that simply removed any loose dirt and damaged timber. We chose this method as we did not want to lose the patina of the boards by sanding them.

The basement floorboards. where the bike showroom is. were subject to the same treatment as above. before laying to ensure good adhesion, but it was then sanded to reveal the clean timber, albeit with all its nail holes and character features.

The coffee bar was made from scratch, with all the units and Worktops being sized or shaped to suit the functions of the coffee machine etc. The Bike workshop counter was built on standard kitchen units to reduce cost and labour and finished off with reclaimed iroko worktops and a faux-panelled frontage.

The shop regularly receives compliments from its customers on the aesthetic of the shop. Being in the trendy area of Soho, this notoriously style conscious crowd is hard to please. so this is praise indeed. I have since had several commissions for reclaimed timber work in London.


Soho Bikes-Nick Hawker


Laying reclaimed floorboards onto concrete with flooring adhesive.

Using reclaimed science-lab Iroko worktops to make a coffee bar and bike service counter.

Making and installing bespoke birch plywood units for the coffee bar.

Using scaffolding boards to create shelving and displays.