Ely Surf Shop opens Friday; aims at teens and young adults

by Pam Roberts

The Ely Surf Shop has a ’50s flare with many treats in store for Ely’s teens, young adults or anyone young at heart when it opens on Friday at 213 East Sheridan Street. <BR><BR>One side of the shop is a ’50s style soda fountain with chrome and red leather stools and a menu of snacks. Customer can slurp ice cream sodas, old fashioned type of malts, shakes, Cokes, chocolate Cokes, root beer floats, gourmet coffee, including espresso, latté, cappucino, and even regular coffee. Variations on ice cream include: Wolf Tracks (caramel), Birch Bark, Snow Ball (vanilla), Black Bear (chocolate), No Udder (sorbet), and Angel (fat free vanilla yogurt). <BR><BR>The gourmet Chicago-style hot dogs lineup ranges from ‘Chilly Dogs’, ‘The Lead Dog’, ‘The Deer Hound’ (venison bratwurst), ‘The Bad Dog’ (chili, jalepeno and onions), ‘The Wurst Dog’ (bratwurst with sauerkraut) and ‘Neutered Dog’ (a no meat soy weiner). <BR><BR>Also cookin’ are nachos and a variety of burritos with bean and cheese, vegetarian, beef and bean, or chicken. There are egg rolls, brownies, bottled juices, ice tea, flavored tea, bottled soda, pop, trail mix, and gourmet chocolate mocha bars. Soup will be served in the winter. <BR><BR>Patrons can use the picnic tables outdoors or sit near the window in the ’50s diner booths while soaking up the state of the art sound and video systems on the four and five foot wide-screen TVs. Extreme videos of snow boarding, skate boarding, surfing, wake boarding will be shown. Timberwolf games may be shown and key high school and college games may be taped and replayed afterwards at the Surf Shop. <BR><BR>Surfing style clothes are always in vogue. Ely Surf Shop carries name brand co-activewear clothing. The store has its own name brand T-shirts, caps, and souvenirs. Patrons can also purchase Spy Optics sunglasses, freestyle watches and a full line of skate boards, skate board components, wake boards, wake skates, skim boards and snow boards. The slogan is: “This ain’t your mama’s gift shop.” <BR><BR>In the off season, one night a week some sort of fun or educational activity will take place, such as a Surf Monopoly night. Also under consideration are seminars on how to surf the internet, use a digital camera or lap top, how the stock market works, planning for retirement, as well as exploring or adventure lectures. <BR><BR>A beach party with a volley ball tournament and clinics and demos on wake boarding and skim boarding and wake skating are planned for this summer. In the winter there will be snowboarding contests. <BR><BR>Internet access for people with wireless lap top computers will be provided for a fee. <BR><BR> The Surf Shop is Richard Gamble’s wave of an idea with all the splashings. WhenGamble first came to town three years ago he noticed there was a void in town with nothing for young adults and teens. Hanging out in the park and parking lots is something kids have always done but the Surf Shop plans to offer a more wholesome alternative. <BR><BR>Gamble grew up in Coco Beach, Florida and was what was called a ‘Peer Rat’ - surfer and skate boarder. The lifestyle and fashion hasn’t worn out and appeals to teens everywhere. He is incorporating some of what he grew up on with the ’50s soda shop atmosphere. <BR><BR>Gamble wants to make a positive impact in the community. One way was to create jobs - 22 people are already employed during the store’s 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. hours daily through the summer. During the off season the shop will close at 8 p.m., but on Friday and Saturday will be open till 11. <BR><BR>Gamble said, “ I want to have a fun, clean, wholesome place for our communities’ teenagers and young adults to come and be able to hang out and enjoy themselves just like the soda fountains of the past were. We want to be that ‘third place,’ an oasis after home and school, or after home and work. It’s not just a teen center but for young adults too. It’s a better place to hang out and have some casual social interaction in a wholesome place.” <BR><BR>