Monday, June 22, 2009

Get Your Kicks at the Holy Grail

Looters ransack the Holy Grail sneaker boutique after the Lakers won their championship. Almost 800 pairs of shoes were stolen or destroyed.

The Holy Grail, in more peaceful times.

Owner Richard Torres after reopening his store on Saturday.

I've long been fascinated, and mystified, by mob mentality. Is three losses to the Magic all that separated us from a lifeless downtown and smashing conch shells outside Staples Center?

Apparently so. In the aftermath of the Lakers' championship, the Holy Grail specialty sneaker store was singled out by rioters. The behavior of the crowd was maddeningly irrational and destructive: A nearby deli and tattoo parlor escaped damage, but some sneakers from the Holy Grail — collectors' items, by the way — had been set on fire in the street. Less than an hour after the end of Game 5, the Holy Grail was destroyed.

Proprietor Richard Torres suffered $140,000 in loss and damage, which he expects insurance to cover. Still, some of his prized items, like a $5,000 pair of 1985 Air Jordans, are gone forever. "It makes me not want to be a basketball fan," he told the LA Times. Nonetheless, Torres is forging ahead, having just reopened for business, and his official website should eventually be able to take orders again. (Currently, it can only accept PayPal donations.)

So if you're in the neighborhood of the Staples Center, give the Holy Grail a visit. (They're also looking for sneakers to sell on consignment.) A fundraiser is apparently being organized to help outfit the store with a roll-down security door, which will hopefully be installed by October, hint hint. L.A. sports fanatics may have buried the Holy Grail, but hopefully true L.A. sports fans will help it get found again.

The Holy Grail
604 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 746-6405


photo 1 from The Hundreds; photo 3 by Ken Hively/LA Times


MR.F said...

Phil Jackson said celebrate with dignity!!! Come on people =(.

rbnlaw said...

I don't remember this happening when they played at the Forum.

PenosCabell said...

We live in a different world. These animals that committed these crimes should be ashamed of themselves. As a small business owner in an urban area, I can feel for Richard Torres. I hope he recovers from this.

Unknown said...

(Checks EBay for cheap Jordans)

Neeebs (The Original) said...

How pathetic?

karina said...

Is this kind of behavior customary?

Unknown said...

I am sure he had some sort of insurance.

I hope that defrayed part of the costs.

NicJ said...

Wow disgracing the holy grail.

Thats some bad juju, better watch out for evil spirits.

NicJ said...

dodgers idle, the rockies and the giants up early.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Three things factor into this:

1) The adrenaline is pumped after the win.
2) Too much alcohol is consumed.
3) Mob mentality takes over.

In lamen's terms, people become very hyper, don't think, and think as one. It's a recipe for disaster, as Richard Torres found out, and it's tragic that there are these "knuckleheads" everywhere, not just in LA.

Felix Flores, Jr. said...

Hey fellow sneakerheads! DJ Franchise from Know The Ledge here. I am trying to hit up all the dope blogs that posted about this messed up situation.

Happy to see all the support for HG on here. We felt the same here too! So I connected with the owners and we are planning to do a Consignment Drive & Party to rebuild the store.

We got the date and event nailed down to help Holy Grail build its shoes and customer base back. Stop by on July 19th! More info here:

Spread the word and support.! thanks!

Orel said...

Thanks, we'll post about this!