Sheryar Durrani didn’t shy away from hard work, recalls U Scoot (1949 Vermont Ave. NW) owner and close friend Andre Esser.
“He wasn’t beneath getting his hands dirty,” Esser said. “Any time I needed a hand or a help or a favor, nothing was beneath him.”
Durrani, who managed U Scoot and worked closely with Esser, died of an apparent heart attack on Dec. 19. He was 53 years old.
“I was getting ready to take the day off and take my son to see Star Wars, and he texted me at about quarter to 11 and he was like, I’m feeling ill, I’m not going to make it in,” Esser recalled. “Apparently, he died after he texted me.”
Durrani and Esser first met last March when Durrani was working as a salesperson at Performance Bicycle in Gathersburg.
“I was buying a bike for my son … and Sharyar dropped to his knees and said, come here kid, gimme a hug,” Esser recalled. “He didn’t even know us.”
Esser took down Durrani’s number and asked him to work at U Scoot — then still in the works — later that night. “We were really good friends ever since,” Esser said.
Durrani is perhaps most fondly remembered for his intellect and his charismatic personality, Esser said. “He had the gift of gab, a great speaker,” Esser said. “He could start a conversation with anybody.”
Durrani once owned a Detroit-based motorcycle wheel company, Duranni Racing, which went under during the recession. But the new ideas never stopped flowing, Esser said.
Before he died, Durrani planned to relaunch his magnesium wheel company and was working on a GPS system for U Scoot’s rental scooters.
“He was really an inventor, a cutting-edge type of person. … I could sit and talk with the guy for hours about different subjects and it was always a really intelligent conversation,” Esser said.
Esser even planned to hand his business off to Durrani in the future.
“I figured I would probably get burned out before him,” Esser said. “I always envisioned us growing up together and me handing off the business to him.”
Esser hasn’t reopened the business since Durrani’s death, and said he probably won’t reopen until February or March.
“Of course, it’s a blow to the company, “Esser said. “But this is not the end of U Scoot. The show will still go on … and Sheryar will definitely be missed, that’s for sure.”
Photos courtesy of Andre Esser