Cycling With Soul
Jae Omara knows a thing or two about cycles - his grandfather was the legendary Les Omara whose bike shop, Corsair Cycles in Cheltenham, had been an institution since 1945. Jae acquired the shop in 1998 and has moved it on to Beach Road Black Rock- were it fronts on to the famous Port Phillip Bay cycle track used by up to fifteen thousand cyclists every day.
When it came time to modernise his premises, Jae wanted to capture the 'soul' of cycling for his customers. Renamed Omara Cycles, the Black Rock premises was expanded beyond retail to include a workshop, spin room and in homage to his grandfather's business, a coffee spot and eatery he named the Corsair Café.
Jae wanted a certain look and feel for his refurb and came to Britton Timbers for advice. "I wanted a warm feel but with a modern, industrial edge to reflect the technology and riding experience we were introducing to customers through the Trek cycle range. The result has been fantastic. We've used Australian River Red Gum with fiddle-back grain and natural edges to provide character, American Oak plinths and posts to match the engineered floors, solid Victorian Ash bike racking, and even mixed materials like stone, metal and plaster to reinforce the industrial feel."
The result is stunning, with cyclists appreciating the aesthetics of Jae's new shop and the ever-present friendly, expert service. The Corsair Café with the adjacent 'Stack Wall' which uses random timber offcuts to create an almost 3D stone wall effect, has proven a big hit.
Jae says one of the joys of the new premises is seeing customers old and new enjoying the atmosphere and taking the opportunity to connect with other cyclists. "The place is absolutely packed on Saturdays and Sundays and the vibe is sensational."
The future looks bright for Omara Cycles whose intelligent mix of traditional service and building materials with edgy design and great products, is making sure Melbournians continue to 'enjoy the ride'.