For local businessman Mike Petersak, a new business opportunity was created from a conversation and the realization of a need for area motorcycle owners.
Petersak, a life-long motorcycle rider, along with many others, felt the loss when Gutterridge Harley-Davidson recently closed.
However, two separate conversations allowed Petersak to create a new business in Danville.
“After Gutterridge’s closed, I received a call from Roger (Gutterridge) inquiring about a piece of property I owned,” explained Petersak. “Roger said he wanted to open a bike repair shop.”
At about the same time, Petersak said he was approached by the owners of Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co. on East Main Street.
“Since my used car lot (Premier Auto Sales) is located next to their property, they were curious if I would be interested in buying their property,” Petersak said.
Eventually a deal was worked out and Petersak acquired the former Bacon & Van Buskirk property at 533 E. Main St. The site contains the 8,500 square-foot main building and a 6,000 square-foot storage building.
Petersak remembered Gutterridge’s call about looking for a place for a shop.
“After that, everything just fell into place,” Petersak added.
After just about six weeks of intense remodeling, the new bike shop opened Sept. 6.
“We had to do quite a bit of remodeling,” Gutterridge said. “The main building was set up to display and store glass.”
Because most of the storage racks for plate glass were made from wood, Gutterridge was able to use much of it in the remodeling.
The business, which is called House of Bikes, now holds a display area to sell motorcycle parts and accessories, as well as a showroom for displaying used bikes for sale as well as a large garage area.
“Mike purchased all of the Harley-Davidson parts and accessories that were left at the dealership, as well as a lot of the shop equipment and tools,” Gutterridge said.
For now, Gutterridge said it will be a two-person shop, with him working on Harley-Davidson motorcycles and his wife, Lynette, handling the parts and accessory sales.
“I want to take care of all the Harley-Davidson owners in the area,” Gutterridge said. “I am a factory-trained H-D mechanic.”
Gutterridge said he hopes to hire a mechanic in the spring to work on the Japanese metric bikes.
While the new shop will not be able to sell new Harley-Davidsons, it will sell used bikes. They have six used Harleys for sale as well as a selection of used four-wheelers.
Petersak said the storage building, which is climate-controlled and has a security alarm, will be used for storing bikes during the winter.
“We will be charging $1 day for bike storage,” said Petersak. “Which I think is a fair rate for a warm and safe environment.”
Petersak said he also will supplement the supply of bikes for sale by going to the motorcycle auction in Indianapolis and bringing in some good-quality Harleys to sell.
The shop is planning on a grand opening Saturday. The day will start with a bike parade. Participants are invited to meet at the Village Mall parking lot south of McDonald’s at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The bikes will leave at 10:30 a.m. and proceed to the shop on Main Street. Food, drink and prizes will be provided at the shop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prizes will be awarded every 15 minutes. Two Groovy Dudes DJ Service will provide music.
On display will be a bike built by Ken Suter, popular MotoGP racer and builder and a motorcycle built by Westville native Shaun Russell.
The shop also has a Facebook page, which has some photos of the renovations done to the shop.
The House of Bikes is located at 533 E. Main St. in Danville. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The phone number is 446-4555.