Life is a day at the beach for Rick Gehris, owner of Surfari Surf Shop, 52 Bovard Ave. That’s because he says he turned a “vacation” into a “vocation” and operated surf shops and taught surfing most of his working life.
“Spending the day on the beach is good for the mind, body and soul,” he said recently.
But he can get bored in January and February, when the cold wind keeps surfers off the beach. Things don’t get busy until late February with Canadian spring breakers.
“I go crazy in the slow months looking for something to do,” he said.
His slow days are now over, as he is busy opening a restaurant at 831 International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. He’s now having some final work done, and he’ll soon be ready to apply for a business license for Rick’s Surf Bar and Restaurant.
“I’ve been running to Home Depot a hundred times a day,” he said.
He has wanted to run a restaurant since he helped his dad, who owned the Boot Hill Saloon about 15 years ago.
The surf shop “aloha” vibe will carry over to the restaurant. He plans to have healthy food, including smoothies and vegetable juices, so people can “enjoy the beach and feel good all day.”
He opened the Ormond Beach surf shop about ten years ago and he said it happened at a good time. It wasn’t long before restaurants opened in the area and the Floridian Resort expanded.
He’s going to continue operating the Ormond Beach shop while also operating the new restaurant. The Ormond location was a surf shop when he was a child, and his mother bought his first pair of surf trunks there.
He likes the area, but says it would be more peaceful if something could be done to make walking across the State Road A1A and Granada Boulevard easier. When the “walk” light flashes, traffic turns right on red.
“Crossing the road is like that old game, ‘Frogger,’” he said.