Un Coeur du Quartier: Renaud’s Réno-Vélo

Renaud, his bike shop + Elliot

Renaud, his bike shop + Elliot

Everyday this summer, I’ve been walking past this little independent bike shop out of a garage on Hogan street (corner Hochelaga).  Its business hours seem based on the weather:  if it’s nice, it’s open, sometimes it’s closed anyways and sometimes it’s open late on Friday or even Sunday evenings.  The fascinating part is that people from the community regularly come to hang out.  Cartons are lined up on the side-walk for people to sit and chat while others come for a friendly tune-up.  With all these people who knew each other, it was a little intimidating to ask if I could take a photo but finally as summer was coming to a close, I knew I had to find the confidence to simply ask in order to document what I find to be such an important « heart » of the most eastern portion of the Sainte-Marie neighbourhood. 

So I introduced myself and met the shop’s owner Renaud.  He was immediately inviting, accepted my offer to take a photo for this website and started conversing about his shop.  It was obvious why people come here – Renaud has a genuine charisma and the hang out spot seems to be as organic as you can get.  Renaud told me that people come to hang out as soon as he opens shop in the morning and I remember one lady once telling me that it was the equivalent of a neighbourhood coffee shop.  Elliot, my dog, took a liking to Renaud too (that’s him in the photo getting spoiled with dog treats by Renaud). 

I’ll have to translate this blog into French but it’s late and I just wanted to get across the enthusiasm I see around this corner every day.  Winter’s slowly coming so I am definitely going to miss walking by this great vibe on my way home from work.  But I can’t wait until next summer when I am going to get the first tune-up on my bike in years.  Est-ce le coeur du quartier?  C’est définitivement un gros morceau.

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