éS Shop Interview: NJ Skateshop

Posted April 1, 2005 by éS

Shop name: NJ Skateshop.
Year shop opened: 2003.
Owners' names: Chris Nieratko, Steve Lenardo, Troy Jankowski.
Your name and job title: Chris Nieratko, President, Partner, Board Gripper, Shoe Lacer-Upper.
Address: 389 Washington RD #2, Sayreville, New Jersey 08872
Phone: 732 651 1123
Shop hours: From when we're open until we're closed.
Web site: NJ Skateshop

How's the shop doing?
It's totally killer, bro. If wasn't for the shop, we wouldn't have this shop today.

Who is your typical customer?
The Andrew Reynolds / Spanky-molded kid. He wears Krew jeans, Emerica shoes, skates Baker boards, has long hair, and wears tight clothes.

Do you have any interesting shoplifting stories?
The only one that we have, really, is my partner Steve said a fat little 12-year-old kid tried to steal a sticker while Steve was staring at him. Now, every time Steve sees him, he busts the kid's balls. "Are you going to try to steal a sticker today?"

Do you get any crazy people coming in off the street?
We do get a lot of crazy people. Generally, they're solicitors. Because we carry skateboards, they assume we would want to sponsor the local little league team, football team, girls' field hockey team, the diving club, out-of-work mechanics...

Coal miner's daughters.
Everything--from top to bottom. Strippers trying to go through college. We do sponsor strippers, but not through the store. That's a personal endeavor that I've taken upon myself.

So, no one ever walks into the shop screaming or talking to inanimate objects?
One time, we had Bam do an autograph signing, and there were 2000 kids wrapped around the building. All these little girls were crying, just like for the Beatles. One sexy girl came in and asked to use our bathroom...

And she had a baby.
(Laughs) No, she came out with her underwear in her hand and asked Bam to sign them. You think she would have given him her underwear. That would have been more of a gesture, but who's to say?

Name the most popular skate videos currently playing in the shop.
The director's cut of Fight Club. I got Star Wars for Christmas, so we've been watching that one a lot. Richard Pryor had a comedy show on ABC in the '70s that didn't last too long. We've been watching that a lot, too.

What about North Pole Volume 9?
I don't even know what that is. As far as skateboard videos, I don't know which ones. What's the latest big skate video I'm supposed to plug? The kids come in and play 'em. I just watch Star Wars and other movies all the time.

Do you collect the action figures?
I do collect the action figures. I collect pretty much everything, like...

Beanie Babies.
Beanie Babies, used celebrity underwear, cheese in the shape of famous bible characters, old skateboards. I collect everything.

Do you do any special events (video premieres, signings, demos)?
Yeah, we do all that stuff--demos and the whole bit. We're the greatest skate shop in New Jersey, and everybody knows it.

Do you have a mini-ramp in the back?
No, but we do have a functioning toilet, which is kind of like a mini-ramp, but different. One mile down the road, we have the Sayreville Skatepark, which is the only concrete park in New Jersey. It was designed by Wally Hollyday.

Is that park affiliated in any way with Leo Sayer?
No, but it is affiliated with the Sayre & Fisher Brick Company, which produced all of the bricks the East Coast was built with. Google that, Garry. No, they only built the buildings, not the ground. You don't build the ground with bricks.

What about cobblestone? Eh, tough guy? Do you have any future events coming up?
Yes. Eventually, every skate team will come and do a demo for me. [Maniacal laughter.] Yes! Except éS. The largest demo we ever had was an Emerica one when we first opened...on October 27, 2003, to be exact. I remember it well, because we were barely open, and my man Justin Regan brought the entire Emerica team to my front door, and now all the kids love us. They ALL LOVE US. I'm sure éS would do a lot better if Tony Evjenth would bring the entire éS team to my house for burgers and a little bit of skating of the park. I'm not going to make any demands, but I'm just going to say that demos translate into $ALE$.

And girls brandishing underwear.
Yeah, I just want to shout out to éS for being so easy to spell.

And pronounce.
And that's it.

Who are your shop team riders?
We've got a very eclectic team, from pros like Quin Cardona, Fred Gall, Brian Wenning, Tim O'Connor, Chris Pastras and a bunch of other dudes, to local guys that are really killing it, like Ron Deily, Jeff Heckman, little John Foiles, Mike Sheppard, Bill Marshall, Matt something.

Matt Allen.
No, another Matt. I can't remember everyone's name, but they're on our site.

What's the best part of running a skate shop?
Just the long-term friendships I'm building with kids of the future. NJ is for the children.

Which éS shoes sell the best in your shop?
All of them sell equally well.

Usually, shops say the Accel sells the best.
I would hate to be like everyone else. (In a strong, confident voice:) For the shoes that sell really well, they know who they are.

What's the best part about éS?
éS is really the only skate shoe brand that we carry, aside from all the other skate shoe brands that we carry. Just that fact alone, the exclusivity of having éS as the only skate shoe we carry, is_the best part.

Aside from all the other brands.
Yes, aside from all the other brands. That's probably_the best part. If it weren't for éS, I don't think we'd be carrying éS today.

Do you still write a lot of, um, "movie" reviews?
We don't need to talk about that.

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