, a co-op for motorcyclists on Flat Shoals Avenue, might be forced to shut down. The group that bills itself as Atlanta's "courteous and respectful" biker club could soon be forced to close up its East Atlanta Village shop due to a conflict with city zoning ordinances.
The ordinance prohibits more than two service-providing repair shops in EAV and Brother Moto's presence, in the city's eyes, is one too many. But Brother Moto doesn't consider itself a repair shop at all. The co-op merely seeks to unite motorcyclists through a do-it-yourself oriented community. Plus, it has a coffee shop in the garage.
To keep the organization from closing its doors, founders Bobby Russell and Jared Erickson have filed a petition
to rouse support from the Atlanta City Council. Three weeks after the change.org link hit the web, Brother Moto has garnered well over 5,000 signatures. The group is striving for 7,500.
And their cry for help has already reached the ears of Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong, who visited the shop on Friday to discuss the co-op's future.
Russell says Archibong has been nothing but helpful as Brother Moto's organizers work to redefine Brother Moto as something besides a service repair shop.
"We don't claim any fees for repairs," he says. "It's more of a community garage... with retail sales and an espresso bar."
With Archibong's assistance, Russell and Erickson hope to get a zoning variance written to designate their co-op as something other than a service-providing repair shop. Otherwise, they may need to scale back the square footage of their tinkering space.
While the bikers await city council action, they remain vigilant in asserting themselves as respectful neighbors.
"We're not the ones revving our engines rolling down the street or racing down residential roads at 90 miles per hour," Russell says. "Some complain they don't like our super-loud bikes riding around town. But just because it's a motorcycle doesn't mean it's us."