In case you haven’t noticed, SLC is growing massively. I’ve been told that the new Zion metropolis rising in downtown is the biggest uprise in the country right now. A new restaurant and coffee shop pop up every month, but what about a legit skate shop in the downtown area? It’s not that I don’t have tons of love for all the shops I’ve grown up with (Milo, Saltys, Blindside, Technique) it’s just that I don’t want to drive all the way to 21st or 33rd just for a sheet of grip. We’ve had a few attempts, but they’ve never stuck around––too much die-cut grip is my guess. There is a time for everything, and I think the time is now for SLC’s first ever skate-only shop. The task is being tackled by a man with one name: Hondo. He opened the doors of Brick & Mortar (561 W 200 S) on July 31. It’s a fresh lookin’ shop, but don’t get confused, it’s not FICE in there. Hondo says, “The way I see it, I can’t sell a pair of pants for $200 when that’s 20 hours of work or half of someone’s rent.” You’re only going to find useful skate products in this shop. I rolled over to Brick & Mortar to get the low down on the shop and how Hondo thinks he’ll fare as a skate-only shop in a state whose slogan was once: “The greatest snow on earth.”
SLUG: Let’s start with why you wanted to start a shop in the middle of a recession.
Hondo: I’ve always wanted a shop. I finished college and I was like, you know what, there is no better time to start a shop here in Salt Lake where it’s cheap and there is a good skate scene. The skate scene here is huge, but it’s so scattered—I just felt like there needed to be a central location.
SLUG: What’s going to be different about your shop that will make it last?
Hondo: There are no snowboards, first of all. It’s just skateboarding in here. I’m a skate shop that carries skateboards and cares about skateboarding. I think there are enough people here that feel the same way. I want to buy my skate products from a skate shop ... I’ll never put anyone’s trucks on backwards. I’ll never give someone a shitty grip job. I’ve grown up with skateboarding for 14 years. I know what it’s like to be stoked on a skate video and want to skate your favorite pro’s board just because you’re stoked on him.