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San Diego board retailer will show off its remodel Saturday

May 10, 2010 10:10 AM

Emerald City has been Coronado’s go-to surf and skate shop since 1988. Although it thrived even during the economic down turn, owners Kelly and Larry Kraus decided to expand their products and services by restoring their Main Street store.

Emerald City The Boarding Source is a cutting edge surf and skate shop that offers hundreds of surfboards, skateboards, and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) to buy and rent.

The store also boasts an array of men, women, and kids beach apparel and accessories. All that plus surfing and SUP lessons gives Emerald City a reputation for being a one-stop-shop for the community’s board riding needs—especially with their renovated store.

The Kraus brothers, long-time residents of Coronado and staples in the surfing community, began the massive restoration in January, and are now applying the finishing touches. “We’ll have our soft opening the first week of May,” said Kelly Kraus.

“Then in June, once we get the bugs worked out, we’ll have our grand opening celebration and invite everyone down to see what we’ve done.”

In remodeling Emerald City, the Kraus brothers wanted the new building to mesh with the environment while not losing its original appeal. To walk through the front door and see the original high arched ceiling, built from old growth and rough sawn lumber, it’s obvious they nailed it.

“We wanted to go green wherever possible,” said Kelly Kraus. “We added solar panels on the roof and expect them to reduce our electric bill by at least 80%. We also salvaged wood from the ceiling and used it throughout the interior design and as our dressing room doors. They look sick and are functional.

“We removed the drop ceiling,” added Kraus. “It’s amazing how it has opened up the building. The original ceiling is a work of art.”

The nearly 3,000-square-foot display area will be used to exhibit larger than life photos and art—surf and skate inspired, of course. The centerpiece of the display is a 14’ X 26’ mural by surf photographer Aaron Chang. All can be admired from the street through the new arched display windows. Jules Wilson lead the design of the project.

“Another goal of the remodel was to expand the store’s branding to attract travelers from across the bridge,” said Larry Kraus. Rather than use cookie-cutter signage given to them by vendors, the Kraus brothers took a grass roots approach by promoting surf and skate inspired art.

They plan to host art shows at least once a quarter, eventually monthly, with a continually evolving “look” inside the store.

To further boost its core market promotions, Emerald City will sponsor a strong team of surfers and skaters from the area. Many riders are already established in the local art scene, and will contribute to the store’s rotating galleries.

“As excited as I am about our re-opening of the store,” said Kelly, “The groms are even more psyched. We were kid-central in Coronado before the closing—now they’re tugging on my sleeve asking when we will reopen.”

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