By Kevin Kelley
As it saw the first major snowfall of the winter, Dec. 17 wasn’t the best day to go for a ride on one’s bicycle.
But it was the day Stamper’s Grill Pub cut the ceremonial ribbon on its new bike rack, which will be made available to all cyclists, not just Stamper’s patrons.
Fresh from being sworn in for her fourth term earlier that afternoon, Mayor Eileen Patton helped owner Jim Stamper cut a ceremonial gold ribbon along the bike rack Saturday.
Located next to Stamper’s front door on Lorain Road, the bike rack isn’t the standard gray model seen outside countless school buildings and libraries.
The red metal bike rack, which includes a spinning bicycle wheel, spells out “Fairview” in large seven-foot-high red letters.
“It’s amazing the conversation piece it’s become,” the proprietor of the Lorain Road restaurant and bar told West Life.
The bike rack was the idea of Stamper’s son, Jimmy, who had seen similar bike stands while living in Chicago, where he attended DePaul University.
A cyclist himself, Jimmy Stamper said the restaurant wanted to promote cycling. Stamper’s Grill Pub is not far from bike paths in the Cleveland Metroparks, he noted.
“We wanted to give them a safe place to lock up,” said Jimmy Stamper, who works at his family’s restaurant.
Built by Ohio City’s Rust Belt Welding, the bike rack is intended to
serve both cyclists and the larger community.
“Cycling is largely a cultural thing in this area,” Jimmy Stamper said. “Promoting cycling and promoting your community go hand in hand, I think.”
Although Stamper’s paid $10,000 to have the bike rack installed, Jimmy Stamper said it’s for everyone and anyone to use, not just restaurant patrons.
“We wanted it to serve as a sign – as an artistic element to the community,” he said.
“Fairview Park has given us so much over the years,” he added. “We wanted to do something for them.”
Stamper’s Grill Pub plans a renovation in the spring that includes a new kitchen and new restrooms.
Jim Stamper, who has owned the restaurant for 13 years, said he had considered an identity and name change as part of the renovation.
But longtime customers shot down that idea when Stamper informally polled them.