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NoHo's Scooter Source Says Goodbye

NoHo Scooters, which opened in 2002, is closing its Vineland Avenue location.

After 10 years of catering to all of North Hollywood's motorized scooter and motorcycle needs, NoHo Scooters at 5144 Vineland Ave. is going out of business Saturday due to paltry sales.

“Sales haven't been so good. You know, the economy is down,” said Mike Frankovich, a self-described “scooter junkie” and store owner. “Realistically, it's time for a change.”

Frankovich said much of the remaining inventory would go up for auction or be sold online. Many of the vintage scooters in the shop belong to him and are not for sale; those rides are frequently rented out to studios, and will still be available for rental via the Internet, he said.

A scooter repair service, run under seperate management, will continue to operate out of the back of the property until its owners can find a new location, Frankovich said. A flyer identifies the mechanics as “Greasy,” “Jano” and “Junior,” and reads: “Come see us in the alley.”

While scooter sales have been steadily declining over the last few years, Frankovich recalled that 2008 was the golden year for the vehicles. He speculates that rising gas prices may have been one of the culprits for attenuated business.

“Like, we had nothing on our floor, everything that was on our floor had sold tags on it,” he said. “Then the following year-- that was the first time gas went over $4 a gallon.” 

Frankovich's interest in scooters goes back to the 1980s.

“My sister had an old Honda scooter I used to ride around the neighborhood [in the 1980s],” he said. 

North Hollywood will be deprived of its comprehensive scooter source, but there will still be scooting opportunities for local enthusiasts. The Los Angeles Scooter Group, which Frankovich helps run as assistant organizer, boasts 936 followers on its Meetup.com page and holds frequent events. 

Bob Peppermuller December 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Good luck. They consider Lankershim as the main drag. From BIDs boundary justification for not crossing Vineland. ============================================= Eastern Boundary: The eastern boundary of the North Hollywood Transit Business Improvement District was determined by the zoning and use of the parcels east of the District boundaries. The parcels east of the District boundaries are zoned residential and light manufacturing. Both the residential zoned parcels, which are excluded by law from participating in the District, and the light manufacturing zoned parcels will not benefit from the District programs that are designed to provide special benefits to retail, theater, education, religious, parking, and office uses. In order to ensure that parcels outside of the District will not specially benefit from the unique improvements and services funded with the assessment, improvements and services will only be provided within the boundaries of the District. Specifically, security patrols, maintenance personnel, and similar service providers employed in connection with the District will only patrol and provide services to individual parcels on the streets and sidewalks within the District, and will not provide services outside of District boundaries.
Bob Peppermuller December 22, 2012 at 10:17 PM
As a business which I walked by several times a week, I considered them to be a asset to the community.
Tori December 24, 2012 at 01:23 AM
As a scooter owner and NoHo resident, this is disappointing news, to say the least.
john sullivan December 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM
That's a blow to Vineland avenue. That stretch of vineland is really dipping right now also lost lotus vegan. Nothing there now except the shopping center with ralph's etc. Anyone see the article about lankershim over the weekend in the la times? Looks like n. Hollywood is going to have to put all its eggs in the lankershim basket. It's a tale of two streets.
D. Park February 21, 2013 at 06:28 PM
I am at a loss for words as to all of the businesses closing up along Vineland. The scooter shop is/was a business that was original. Different from all of the hair salons, nail salons and massage parlors in the neighborhood. I always enjoyed looking in the window at all of the cool scooters that they had to offer. They were also a business that seemed to be "neighborly". I always thought that they were doing great business due to the economy (high gas prices). They will be missed.

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