Filed Under Businesses

Pee Wee's Bike Shop

Among the many mom-and-pop businesses that graced Coventry Village during the 1960s and 1970s, Pee Wee's Bike Shop often stands out. Although it is a part of Coventry's history, the shop did not have its beginnings there. Pee Wee (real name Marvin Rosenberg), had lived in Cleveland Heights since the early 1940s. He first opened Pee Wee's Bike Shop at 894 Lakeview in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland in the mid 1950s. He stayed there until a series of robberies convinced him to move his business to Cleveland Heights in the 1960s.

A neighboring business owner followed and partnered with Pee Wee, starting a bike and variety shop called Pee Wee's Bike & Hobby Company at 2871 Mayfield Road. The joint business lasted about three years until Pee Wee's partner ventured out to start his own wholesale bike business. Changing the name of his store to Pee Wee's Cycle Shop, Rosenberg stayed on Mayfield Road for two more years until the building was sold.

Pee Wee moved to Coventry Village in the late 1960s. The name he chose for his relocated business was the Cycle & Import Company, but everyone continued to refer to it as Pee Wee's Bike Shop. Pee Wee ran his business at 1791 Coventry Road for seventeen years, during which time he became an almost legendary figure in the area.

In the 1980s, Pee Wee purchased a small building on Lee and Superior Roads near Cain Park. He again changed the name of his business, appropriately calling it Cain Park Bicycle. Unfortunately, not long after he moved he became ill and was no longer able to run the business. He did, however, make sure he left the shop good hands—someone who, according to Pee Wee, "knew bikes." Despite the frequent moves and name changes, Pee Wee's Bike Shop is remembered fondly as part of Coventry Village history.

Audio

First Bike Tommy Fello from Tommy's Restaurant talks about getting his first bike from Pee Wee's Bike Shop. Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
Moving Marvin Rosenberg of Pee Wee's Bike Shop talks about moving his business to different locations. Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
In Partnership Marvin Rosenberg of Pee Wee's Bike Shop talks about the partnership he had at his first Cleveland Heights location. Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
Going into the Motorbike Business Marvin Rosenberg of Pee Wee's Bike Shop talks about the different brands of bikes he sold at his stores. Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

Images

Bicycles, 1955 Fifty years ago, if you wanted a 9-speed conversion kit for your bicycle, or a quality 10-speed bicycle, you might go to Pee Wee's Bike Shop. Pee Wee also sold brands such as Peugeot, Fuji, Bianchi, Murray and Roll Master. He eventually went into the motorbike business, securing a franchise of the French-made Solex motorized bicycle. Image Courtesy of Flickr user Josh Koonce
Pee Wee at the Coventry Street Fair, 1974 Pee Wee (orange shirt) moved to 1791 Coventry Road in the 1960s. He called his shop Cycle & Import Company, but everyone still referred to it as Pee Wee's Bike Shop. Image Courtesy of Joe Polevoi.
Coventry Street Fair, 1978 Pee Wee (orange shirt) stands in front of his shop during the 1978 Coventry Street Fair. Image courtesy of Joe Polevoi
Sunrise, 1974 Pee Wee moved his bike shop from Mayfield Road to Coventry Village in the late 1960s. He was there for seventeen years. Image courtesy of Joe Polevoi
Cain Park Bicycle, 2012 Pee Wee (real name Marvin Rosenberg) moved to the corner of Lee and Superior Roads about the time Coventry was starting to change from a haven for hippies to a middle-class commercial district. He renamed his business Cain Park Bicycle, eventually selling it to a New York native. Image Courtesy of Heidi K. Fearing
High Thai'd, 2012 The restaurant High Thai'd has taken the former location of Pee Wee's Bike Shop on Coventry. It is named in honor of another former Coventry business - High Tide/Rock Bottom. Image Courtesy of Heidi K. Fearing

Location

Metadata

Heidi Fearing, “Pee Wee's Bike Shop,” Cleveland Historical, accessed June 30, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/439.