A Car Lounge Created for Serious Gearheads
As car-crazed people in large cities start looking for cool places to hang out with other autophiles and their beloved vehicles, young entrepreneurs like Matt Bell and Ethan Stowell are opening new car clubs and restaurants in places such as Seattle Washington's trendy SoDo District. It's a national movement and gaining major momentum from NYC to LA, so at F. Lofrano & Son, Inc. - Divisadero Street we're hoping to share this for the next time you get out of San Francisco, CA.
They call it The Shop, a members-only meeting, networking, storage, and tinkering space for people who love their cars, scooters and motorcycles. In the middle of a 36,500-square-foot warehouse Derby, a restaurant that is open to the public and provides an exclusive view of the dozens of vintage and high-performance vehicles that are parked beyond its huge windows.
This endearing space provides a welcome hideout for gearheads who desire something a little edgier than the local Johnny Rockets or Applebee's can provide. Up to this point, The Shop has attracted just nearly 100 members and currently have about 80 cars parked on the premises, including a Cadillac owned by Seattle's very own hip-hop star Macklemore and another that was recently featured in a video for the band “White Walls.” The standard membership fee for The Shop is $150 month, plus a $500 one-time initiation fee and an additional $200 per vehicle or $100 per motorcycle monthly for a highly secure, climate-controlled storage space.
The Benefits of being a member at The Shop include full access to tools and equipment; a series of in-house washing bays and high-tech detailing stations; access to highly-skilled mechanics at reduced prices; and regularly scheduled social events and instructional classes. Soon, The Shop will be hosting “Cars and Coffee” every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon 52 weeks a year, rain or shine, and a special “Bikes and Brunch” every Sunday.
The mixture of vehicles ranges from super ultra-high-performance beauties such as Ferraris and Porsches all the way to classic hot rods. There are some unusual Japanese models and a handful of nice old trucks, too.
Currently, The Shop employs approximately 12 people, including some front desk help, a full-time shop manager, some top-tier certified technicians and a detailing person. A small garage run by Elliot Toler-Scott also on the premises serves as a Porsche-lovers dream space, as members of The Shop can access the area where mechanics work on the sports cars.
Inside a VIP members lounge, you will find a pool table and additional TVs, as well as two large conference rooms available for meeting spaces. VR Motion out of Portland, OR provides a Shop-branded professional driving simulator that works in conjunction an HTC Vive headset. There are also two Forza Motorsport set-ups provided by Turn 10, the racing game developer that is a division of Microsoft Studios.
Sources: Seattle Times, eBay Motors and Forbes