I have mentioned a couple of times now that I have been working on a modification of the Creator Bike Shop & Café (31026), which is now retired. I bought this set originally at full price, and then I bought a second one on sale just before it was discontinued. Then began the long trial and error process of making it bigger and turning it into a modular that respected the original design (which I liked). While I prefer the hinge design (which this set originally had) to the open back design, I like the modular design best of all. In order to be able to have full creative control when making my city, it is important to be able to put a building wherever I want to, and not have to worry about how much space it needs to swing open. I have reached a point where I am satisfied with my mod, and have placed it into my LEGO city.
So, let’s begin with the obvious. I added a floor to each building. If you look at the café, you will also notice the “Coffee Chain” sign above the door, and the kiosk-like opening in the wall beside the ATM. These are from City Square, which I reviewed last month. I really liked that little coffee kiosk, but with my MOC Tim Hortons and this café already in town, I didn’t feel that I needed another coffee shop. But, I thought it might be cool to incorporate the kiosk into this café so that Minifigs can just grab a coffee on the go. I changed the colour of the Kiosk to match the café, and I added a hatch so it can be closed at night. Otherwise, the appliances from both sets are now inside the café, as is the barista from City Square.
I was not crazy about the curtains in the café window of the original set, so I removed them, but needed something to fill the window. I designed the cake display you see below. There are some cookies on the bottom shelf, cupcakes in the middle, and pie on the top shelf. I am quite happy with this little build.
I also took the pick-nick table from City Square and placed it behind the café. I tiled a little boardwalk around it to look like a wooden deck.
Leading up from the pick-nick table is a staircase that takes you to the apartments above The Coffee Chain. Each floor is a separate studio apartment with a bed, a kitchenette, and bathroom. Both also have balconies. I kept the built-into-the-wall ladder on the top floor for roof access.
For the second building, the ground floor remained almost unchanged (it is bigger). I like the bike shop, and again, I wanted to stay true to the feel of the original set. I did add a bike rack behind the store, at the rear service entrance to the building. For the sake of space, I also kept the ladder design leading up to the next level.
Whoever runs the Bike Shop also lives in the two floors above it due to the ladder design. The first floor has a small kitchen and living area. I have wall-mounted a flat screen TV across from the armchair. Again, for the sake of space, a ladder has been used to lead up to the next floor.
The second floor has a bathroom and a bedroom. Again, the rooftop access has been preserved, as has the barbeque on the roof. Since a couple lives here (the guy in the Bike Shop and the woman in the armchair), the bed is a little bigger than in the apartments over the café. I really liked the black semi-circle above the windows of the original set, so I used that in a number of places here. It can still be seen above the windows of the Bike Shop building, but I also used it for the range hood over the stove in the penthouse over the café, the shower head in this apartment, and the light fixtures in the bedroom below. Overkill? Maybe. But, I like it.
While this set is retired, I have seen it floating around in a few stores still. So, you can still get your hands on one if you go looking (I can even tell you a couple of places you can order it from in Canada at its original retail price if you are interested). If you are thinking of making your own modification to this set, you can check out my Pinterest page (LEGO City/Modular Creations) for a couple of pics of MOCs other people have done using this set, as well as a lot of other ideas. You can also find all of the images from this article on the Pinterest board I created for this project.
I would love to know what you think of my modifications. Also, if you have your own, leave a comment with the link to some pictures. It is always great and inspiring to see what other people cook up.
Until next time,