The first rule is, never go behind the service counter without an invitation.
The second rule is, never go behind the service counter without an invitation.
A 6-pack of half-decent beer on a slow afternoon goes a long way towards making connections at the shop, and in the community generally. These people know the other bike people in this area, and they'll make introductions under the right circumstances.
Winter is the best time to get bike work done at a shop. In February, yours might be the only bike all afternoon. Come March, your bike is one of hundreds.