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Farewell to Revolution Bicycle Services… For Now

In June 2023, Miami New Times called this Coconut Grove favorite the best bicycle shop in Miami. This week it’s closing.

For 27 years, Revolution Bicycle Services has operated in a storefront at the back of the Florentine Plaza courtyard at 3444 Main Highway. Its last day in that location will be Thursday, Aug. 31.
 
Ever since the proprietor, Danny Lovett, taped a hand-lettered announcement of the store’s closing in the front window a few days ago, the community has been grieving. People throughout the Grove have been telling each other the sad news, whether they have bikes or not. Danny and his shop are well known and beloved.
 
It’s a bitter irony that Miami New Times named Revolution the best bicycle shop in Miami in its June 2023 issue. “Coconut Grove would be unrecognizable if it weren’t for the local mom-and-pop establishments that help the historic neighborhood keep its charm,” New Times proclaimed. “Revolution Bicycle Services is one of those local establishments, and Danny Lovett has been running the one-man shop for more than 25 years in the same spot in Florentine Plaza where Main Highway intersects with Fuller Street. There are multiple bike retailers around Miami, but Lovett has endeared himself to locals as a trusted expert for their precious two-wheelers.”
 
For decades, Revolution has been much more than a bike shop, though it has excelled in providing high-quality, inexpensive care for bicycles of all types. It’s been a social hub for a broad spectrum of Grovites who enjoy hanging out and talking with Danny and each other while he works. They talk about bicycles, politics, sports, local news, whatever comes to mind. People whose bikes are parked in the garages of mansions rub shoulders at the shop with kids from the West Grove whose bikes are their sole form of transportation. Presiding over it all is Hydee, Danny’s sweet-natured seven-year-old Belgian shepherd.
 
Lovett created a strong ethic of generosity and honesty at Revolution. He would lend tools to customers who asked for them, and in some cases he loaned money to customers in need. He would even teach people to repair their bikes “if they had the patience.” In a neighborhood once known for its quirky individuality but now becoming known for just being expensive, Revolution was unique.
 
In normal times, the store was open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It closed only for holidays like Christmas and the occasional time when Lovett went to visit his father in Tennessee. As Florentine Plaza went through a series of costly renovations, the demise of the shop in that location was only a matter of time. Soon the space will be replaced by a barbecue store.
 
“I haven’t done any advertising in 27 years,” says Lovett. “The first year I spent $10,000 to set up the shop and advertise in New Times. But people kept coming in, and I realized I could get customers through word of mouth. This is a community bike shop. You don’t have to buy anything. You can just come. Or if you need information, I’ll tell you. You need air in your tire, it’s free at the front of the store. Being with people is the part I enjoy. That’s why I’ve been here seven days a week. I love what I do. It’s not really a job.”
 
Some Good News
 
Revolution Bicycle Services will be greatly missed in the highly gentrified Center Grove, but there’s some good news. Danny is leaving, but it’s for a vacation. He will be back, and he hopes to reopen his Coconut Grove store at some point in the future. The challenge, he readily admits, will be finding an affordable location.
 
Meanwhile, friends and supporters are working together to help Danny reopen and keep a beloved Coconut Grove institution alive. If you want to know more about their efforts, you can be part of the Revolution Bicycle Services support network by sending an email with your contact information to [email protected].
 
“I feel the love,” says Danny. “I have great relationships here.”

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