The Polka Dot Jersey rides again

Leschi custom bike shop finds new space, plans May reopening

The Polka Dot Jersey rides again

The Polka Dot Jersey rides again

Much of Matt Telmosse’s clientele are mid-level professionals and avid cyclists, but they won’t have to go long distance to find The Polka Dot Jersey’s new Leschi shop.

Telmosse had operated his full-service bike shop for the past five years at 121 Lakeside Ave., but then the property owner decided not to renew his lease, he said, because they could get more per square footage renting the space out for offices.

“We tried to give them more money, and they wouldn’t take it,” Telmosse said.

Before The Polka Dot Jersey closed last October, Telmosse said he asked the Heavy Restaurant Group about subletting its space adjacent to Meet the Moon in the Leschi Lakecenter.

At that time, Heavy Restaurant had plans to expand Meet the Moon, so Telmosse continued his search. At one point he’d even signed a lease, but that deal ended up falling through.

Then Telmosse’s luck turned around when Heavy Restaurant called him back — they had decided not to expand after all.

Building out the larger space at 130 Lakeside Ave. started in late March, and plans are to have The Polka Dot Jersey’s new storefront open by early May.

Acting as general contractor on the new space is former competitive racer John Sheehan, who has been letting Telmosse use his Kirkland shop to keep helping customers since last winter.

Sheehan’s Gerard Cycles was a prominent brand in the old The Polka Dot Jersey space, and will be even more so in the new space.

“My bike brand is like a midlife crisis for me,” jokes Sheehan, who also mentors and sponsors young competitive cyclists.

High-end and custom-built cycles are not cheap. Telmosse says he’s never owned a car that cost more than one of his bikes.

Rather than fight the online market, he said his focus is on putting in the labor it takes to build bikes that fit his customers’ needs and to help them navigate the complexities of customization.

With his new, larger space, Telmosse said he and Sheehan are building a shop where people can hang out and get onsite repairs. There will be a bar area for people to sit and watch staff work on bikes or televised cycling races.

Telmosse said he’s excited to bring The Polka Dot Jersey back in Leschi, and he’ll plan for a grand opening party when the shop is ready.