As far back as I can remember, there have been wrought iron bars over the doors and windows at Two Wheel Transit. The intent was to make a unique and somewhat decorative barrier to keep stuff from leaving the store in an unauthorized fashion when no one was there to watch over it. Needless to say, the solid iron has been very effective in keeping stuff where it belongs and was necessary when the area was ruled by thugs and ruffians who rode bikes without helmets and made turns without proper hand signals. Now a kinder spirit of community prevails in the neighborhood and we get to hang-out with Spokane law enforcement for hours while they disarm a dangerous suitcase filled with women's clothing. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/jan/19/bomb-squad-investigating-item-downtown-spokane/
On the other hand, the effect on the ambiance and attractiveness on the store front is less than ideal for a retail business. It makes it difficult for people to see in the store in most lighting conditions and can be a little intimidating for those who are new to the TWT experience. It really hit home this year when I went outside to look at Tomas' latest artistic creation (think of the movie Christmas Vacation) with the Christmas decorations in the storefront windows. Our Christmas tree and everything else looked like they were doing 8 - 10 years of hard time in a foreign prison for some heinous crime rather than bringing holiday joy to good little girls and boys.
The bars have been a topic of discussion for some time and recently resulted in a blistering executive session among the power brokers in the store. Insults were hurled like snowballs by unhappy undergrads at the last Apple Cup, threats and near violence erupted at several points, but we trudged doggedly forward until a decision was finalized - the bars over the windows are coming down.
Actually, Tomas and I were standing out front the other day when Bruce was not there to supervise us and I said. "Do you think it would be hard to take these bars off?" To which Tomas replied, "Not really." And that is how it was decided to take the bars off to make the shop a little more appealing and friendly while providing Tomas with an unobstructed canvas.
Swing by in the next week or so to see the carnage - I mean progress as we remove the ironwork and walls between us. Hopefully, it will be a good move.