Look Inside Hermosa Surf Shop, Bird Rock’s Latest Retro Shop | Neighborhoods

Here is the candle surf shop.

La Jolla Boulevard’s latest retro boutique looks a lot more like Brooklyn than Bird Rock, but that’s precisely where the owners grew up surfing. Brothers Benny Walter and Attila Betyar spent their youth in the micro-neighborhood of Lower Hermosa, and imagined the ultimate tribute in Hermosa Surf Shop.

With matcha lattes, mint-hued twin fins, and design by Solstice Interiors, consider it a 2022 nod to ’60s surf culture. The upscale hangout is equal parts store and a cafe: Shelves are packed with local brands — Raen sunglasses, Unhinged candles, Moon jumpsuits, and hand-painted denim — while mid-century chairs are a great place to play chess and sip Kale-r Wave, a vegan smoothie made with ashwagandha, kale and homemade granola. It’s not Mitch’s surf shop.

“We want all of our customers to feel like this is an extension of their home, because that’s how we feel,” says Betyar. “This space is so much more than a surf shop.”

Walter is the family shaper; he cut his teeth the old-fashioned way at Clairemont Surf before moving into sales for leading surf gear supplier Surf Hardware. Meanwhile, Betyar takes a radical departure from his mechanical engineering degree at USD to become an artist and muralist. He did creative work with Huntington Beach artist Blake Sandoval (aka Yung Pinch).

At the back of Hermosa, Solstice Interiors designer Katie Gebhardt has set up a small, airy studio. The vibe she created is fresh, airy and modern with muted pastels and natural wood accents. In a curlicue script, a poster proclaims “Have a Swell Day” while a hazy tribute to Super 8 films plays on the vintage television.

5636 La Jolla Blvd., Bird Rock


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