Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Real Story of Minky's Bicycle Shops in Chicago.

Seymour (Shim) Nimerov (born in 1917) opened "Minky's Hobby & Sports Store," at 3330-32 West Roosevelt Road in 1938, the large apartment building with retail stores on the ground floor his parents owned. Shim incorporated his business as the "Seymour Nimerov and Company," but did business as (dba) "Minky's Hobby and Sports Store."

Milton (Minky) Nimerov (born in 1915) was Shim's older brother who sold the name of "Minky's" to Shim claiming Minky's was a catchy name and would be easily remembered. Shim obviously thought so too. Besides bicycles, they sold sporting goods, hobby and crafts merchandise, toys, and were a Lionel train dealer.  
Oil painting of Minky's Hobby & Sports Store at 3330-32 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago.
Sent to me by Shim's Granddaughter, Denise Kase-Nabat.
Shim was the business owner, Minky took care of new bicycle assembly and mechanical repairs, and Charley Nimerov assisted Shim in the sales and management of the Roosevelt Road store.
Minky's Hobby & Sports Store, 3330-32 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, Illinois
Left to right: Unknown, Minky, Shim, Charley (the brother who helped Minky run the Roosevelt Road store).
Shim advertised to purchase stamps collections.
Chicago Tribune, January 16, 1944.
Shim opened a second store, Minky's Bicycles & Toy Store at 2840 West Devon Avenue around 1954.
Minky's Bicycles, 2840 West Devon Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
My sister and I bought our Matchbox cars from the Devon Avenue store, which Shim always had the newest models in stock, and would order any available Matchbox car models for customers. Minky's store had a large variety of kid pranks, i.e. whoopie-cushions, fake vomit, hand-buzzards, etc., and sold Spalding "Pinkie" high-bounce balls mostly used to play the game called "Pinners."
Chicago Tribune Ad, February 24, 1958.
Bicycles were shipped in boxes and assembled at the dealerships. Many bike shops around the country had their own head badges and would replace the manufacturer's head badge with their own.
Chicago Tribune Ad, May 29, 1958.
Minky's on Roosevelt Road was burned to the ground during the Chicago riots in 1968. On April 5, 1968, violence sparked because of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on the West side of Chicago, gradually expanding to consume a 28-block stretch of West Madison Street and leading to additional fire damage on Roosevelt Road. The riot was finally contained on April 7, 1968.
Chicago Tribune Ad, June 9, 1968
Chicago Tribune Ad October 7, 1972.
Proof to debunk that Minky owned the Minky's Bicycle shops. Shim thought 'Minky' had a memorable 'ring' to it. Eve Nimerov Obituary, Chicago Tribune, October 6, 1997, Seymour's Wife.
Minky's Devon Avenue store was closed when Shim died in 1983Seymour Nimerov is buried at Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.
Milton Nimerov died 26 years after his brother Seymour. Wouldn't you think that if Minky really owned the Bicycle shop, it would have remained open for some time longer? 

Copyright © 2020 Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

NOTE: Minky's son, David Nimerov has maliciously lied about his dad, Milton Nimerov, being the owner of Minky's and has done so for years, as he must have thought there was no proof of ownership still in existence. 
After talking with Shim's family members, I did in-depth research to find out the truth.

During my written conversations with David Nimerov, he made these statements to me: "My Dad Milton Minky Nimerov was the owner. Shim was his younger brother and the salesperson." "There’s a reason the stores were named Minky’s Bicycles." "If I recall, my dad gave Eve [Shim's wife] $3,000 to walk away."

I don't know why he felt it necessary to propagate these lies for so many years. Perhaps just to be spiteful towards Shim's family. In my opinion, David's claiming Minky was the owner is like a person claiming to have served in the military but never did. That's called "Stolen Valor!"  
Both Seymour and Milton served honorably in WWII and I have a copy of both draft cards with service release stamps.
I ousted David to set the record straight. David is still lying and it's just plain wrong. It's hurtful to his own family too, which I have had personal contact with. In Yiddish, David is called a Schmuck!

Seymour Nimerov's immediate family preapproved and condoned the information I wrote in the above note before I made this article public.


  1. According to the picture, the guy I always saw there and thought was Minky was Shim. Who knew?

  2. Hello,

    My name is Barry Gray. I'd like to know If I can get permission to use some of the information and photos about Minky's in a book I'm working on about Schwinn dealerships and the head badges they put on Schwinn bicycle?

    1. As long as this blog ( gets proper credit, Barry Gary. Please forward the link to your live site to:


The Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™ is rated PG-13. Please comment accordingly. Comments not on the article's topic will be deleted, along with advertisements.