Downshift restructures its business model

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 6:27 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Downshift, a place popular for bikes and brews, has restructured its business model and moved locations due to the pandemic.

It just re-opened in two separate locations a block apart. The cafe, now called Secondhand Smoke, is located next to and in partnership with Golden Cactus Brewing. It is now serving up barbecue for special occasions.

The other location is at 210 Fourth Street Southwest, and staff is mainly doing service and repairs for bikes. You can still order products, but Downshift’s owner says you could be waiting for months or even a year, since inventory is low because so many people are buying bikes as a way to get outside during the pandemic.

“It’s challenging. I mean, it’s quite honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. Your business gets taken away due to a global pandemic, you’ve got to roll with the punches, you’ve got to make changes, otherwise you’re just going to dissolve into the ether, and so we saw this as an opportunity,” Stephen Ambruzs, owner of Downshift Handcrafted Bikes and Brews, said.

Ambruzs also said the pandemic made it tough for him to keep running the small store on Campbell Avenue, so these new locations allow for more space.

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