Most people imagine olives soaking in a fancy glass full of liquor when they hear the word “martini.”
But when naming his business Martini Skate and Snow, set to open on Cedar and South Taylor roads the first week of March, Mike Tirpak found out the word “martini” meant something different.
“When I was trying to think of a name for the shop, I wanted something clever that sounded more sophisticated than Joe Schmoe’s skateboard shop,” said Tirpak, 35, who opened the first location on the border of Macedonia and Northfield about four years ago. “I Wikipediaed the word ‘martini,’ and found information about the ancient festival in Latvia in November to celebrate the coming of winter, which included sledding.”
Martini Skate and Snow will sell snow and skateboard equipment, as well as other merchandise and apparel needed for the sports. He carries 100-200 skateboards in the other store, and plans for about the same amount in the new, 1,800-square-foot shop.
He'll also sell clothing from WeSC, The Hundreds, RVCA and Alife, among other brands.
"They are smaller but different brands than other skate shops have," Tirpak said. "They're a little more fashion-forward."
Martini Skate and Snow will sell rare items, such as shoes from the Nike SB line, the company’s skateboarding kicks, and limited edition Oakley sunglasses, he said.
Tirpak, who lives in Stow, was one of the business owners who attended . His store will be next to the second .
“We’re excited about being in Cleveland Heights. It’s a great area to be in. There’s plenty of shopping on Coventry Road, but also on Cedar and South Taylor,” he said. “That meeting this morning shows that they’re trying to build up that area. It’s really going to revitalize that area and draw more people to it. … that’s where the Cleveland Heights skate park is, so we’re excited to host events there.”
Howard Thompson, economic development director for Cleveland Heights, was looking at Martini Skate and Snow's website this afternoon.
"I just like the whole idea of the skate and snow shop. I think it’s going to add a lot of vibrancy and a lot of needed energy in that district," Thompson said.
Tirpak's business-owning roots go back to his golf pro days, his other favorite sport other than snowboarding. His dad was also a golf pro, and Tirpak owned a golf shop at Chardon Lakes for five years. He said he started snowboarding in the early '90s, and his snowboard-racing sister, Melissa Tirpak, got him into the sport.
He hopes his store offers something different than other retailers in Cleveland Heights.
"We wanted to open something a little more distinctive, and offer not just what everyone else has — a little bit more limited, sought-after items."