Biz Buzz: Art’s Cyclery to close longtime location in SLO

Owners of Art’s Cyclery will close the store’s location on Santa Barbara Street in San Luis Obispo in January and operate only out of its newer location at 181 Suburban Road.

The business has maintained a Santa Barbara Street location for 16 years. The Suburban Road location opened in August 2009; its 9,000 feet of warehouse space and 5,000 square feet of retail floor enabled the firm to launch an online business.

Co-owner Scott Smith declined to disclose annual revenues, but said, “This is a move of health for us.”

Revenue doubled in 2010, with about half of sales generated online.

Smith added that closing the Santa Barbara Street location will reduce overhead and better serve customers.

“When we first opened the Suburban Road store, the idea was to create an entirely different store and experience. What happened was that we would be sending customers back and forth between the two because everything someone might want was not under one roof,” he said.

Smith and Eric Benson, both of San Luis Obispo, bought Arts Cyclery from the original owner, Art Leach, in 2002. Recently, Drew Munster of San Luis Obispo and Mark Szebecki of Arroyo Grande, who own Sports Warehouse Group, became partners and helped launch the online store. Arts Cyclery offers a wide selection of bikes, components, accessories and apparel.

— Julia Hickey

The Oak Pit BBQ Company, a catering firm, has opened a restaurant on the Arroyo Grande Mesa at 564 Mesa View Drive, specializing in Southern-style smoked ribs and pork and Santa Maria-style tri-tip.

The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating on the former site of the Rusty Pig restaurant and is owned by Kevin Linson of Arroyo Grande, Sam Muller of Santa Maria and Pablo Aguirre of Arroyo Grande.

The Oak Pit BBQ Company earned a people’s choice award at the Nipomo Oktoberfest barbecue competition in 2009 and a grand champion title at the same event this year, Aguirre said.

The restaurant is open Sundays through Thursdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

— Julia Hickey

The foreclosure auction scheduled for Tuesday on David Weyrich’s remaining home lots at Santa Ysabel Ranch in Templeton has been moved to Jan. 4, according to the lender.

Weyrich, trustee of the ranch, has defaulted on a roughly $23 million loan through Lafayette-based R.E. Loans Inc. that packages the ranch with the Carlton Hotel in Atascadero, which the firm is also foreclosing on.

But instead of auctioning the landmark Atascadero hotel, R.E. Loans consultant Rick Dishnica said they are negotiating a forbearance agreement on the property. That means the firm will delay taking action on the hotel until a time Weyrich and the lenders agree on.

The start time for the auction, slated to take place outside the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse, has not yet been released. The starting sale price will be disclosed on auction day.

— Tonya Strickland