Way back in 2016, I shared one of my earliest ventures into customizing LEGO® sets and developing my own city. The project involved what is probably still my favorite Creator 3-in-1 set, the Bike Shop & Cafe (31026). I liked it so much that I actually bought two of them so that I would have enough pieces to make it modular. My original MOC for this set was decent, and respected the original look of the buildings. It made each individual floor bigger, and added a level to each building (to read more about it, you can click here).
With the ever decreasing amount of real estate in my LEGO® city, the time came for a remodel. My original design made the Bike Shop & Cafe fit in line the Creator Expert modular buildings. I didn’t have many modulars back in 2016, so this design really filled out my city nicely. But, things have changed, and my city has grown. I need to maximize my use of space. Last fall, I shared my MOC police station project (click here to read about it). It was built with a train tunnel incorporated so that I wouldn’t needlessly lose space on my table corners where the train tracks curved. The train runs under my shopping promenade, and the police station, bike shop, and cafe were all built around it so that I wouldn’t lose corner space.
Like with my first customization of the Bike Shop & Cafe, version 2.0 still maintains the original exterior facade of the LEGO® set. To save space, this redesign also goes back to the original foundation size of the set. I maintained the third floor from my first MOC though, and the interiors of the buildings are almost 100% custom (with the exception of the actual bike shop). The buildings were, of course, modified from the original hinged design (where the back wall swung open) to have removable, modular floors. Since the rear of the buildings is not visible, many of the features (such as windows and doors) were rearranged to the sides of the buildings. Another change I made is that there are no longer two little apartments above the cafe, instead it is a two-floor condo accessed from a landing on the stairs leading to the shopping promenade.
In my first version of this MOC, there was a picnic table behind the cafe, and a window that opened from the inside to serve customers directly outside. I scrapped all of that. That section of the MOC just never felt right to me. Now the cafe’s interior is just the ordering counter and the coffee machines, as well as a pastry table. The Coffee Chain sign is inside on the wall rather than over the door. My Coffee Chain employees (Larry from the LEGO® Movie and the female barista from City Square (60097)) both work there. Outside, there are two small tables, and I preserved the neat little ATM from the original set.
The bike shop remains pretty simple on the inside. It is more or less the same design that originally came with the set, but the service entrance has been moved to ground level. Access to the apartment above the bike shop is still by ladder, just to save space. Rounding the corner from the bike shop brings you to the police station at street level.
On the second floor of each building, you have a little kitchen and sitting area. In the condo above the cafe, the kitchen is actually tucked under the stairs so that there is still room for the balcony door to open.
The upper floor of each apartment features a bed, and a little bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet. The bed in the condo above the cafe is actually a Murphy bed that folds down over the stairs access. Each bedroom also has a ladder for roof access.
The rooftop of each building was pretty much left with a similar design to the original set. They looked pretty good as is, in my opinion. I particularly liked the hatch design on top of the bike shop, so I made sure to keep that.
I suppose in the end I could have gone a little more original in this design. But, like I said at the start, this remains my favorite of the 3-in-1 Creator sets, so why not keep it around? It actually fits very nicely into this corner of my city, and conceals the train tracks while making good use of my table space. I like this iteration a bit more than my last attempt. But, as always, feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.
Until next time,
p.s. If you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.