Thursday, January 26, 2023


By Joe Ditler

CORONADO – Going green took on an entirely new meaning for Emerald City the Boarding Source when, after five months of preparation for opening day, they arrived at the store to find a transformer had blown down the street and the entire block was without electricity. Emerald City was scheduled to open its doors May 15.

“We considered opening up despite the outage, in response to customer demand, even though we couldn’t use the cash registers, and had no lights,” said Marco Perez, store manager. “But we decided that if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right with all of our wonderful lights blazing and music blaring.”

So the staff posted a crude sign in the window that said, “Sorry for the Delay! Opening Soon.” The kids who lined up to get in were disappointed, but passed the time by playing in the new Rotary Plaza Fountain just down the street (see photo).

“It was actually great,” said Adrian Kraus, office manager. “There was nothing we could do so we all just went home and slept,” she said laughing. Kraus, Perez and many of the staff had worked several 100-hour weeks in preparation for the opening.

The grand opening did take place the next day and hundreds of customers poured into the store to examine the new lines of product and congratulate the owners on their re-opening. By all accounts it was a huge success.

Larry Kraus, who, along with brother Kelly own and operate Emerald City, had plenty of statistics to support his team’s efforts in that final week of preparation.

“In preparing for opening day,” said Larry, “we consumed 17 pizzas, 93 Red Bulls, 33 different flavors of microbrew, 84 pots of coffee, made 17 trips to Home Depot and Target and ate plenty of Momma Kraus’s famous casseroles. But we made it.”

Emerald City The Boarding Source has been Coronado’s go-to surf and skate shop since 1988, offering a range of boards, accessories, and apparel.

In remodeling the store the Kraus brothers sought to restore many of the building’s historical aspects, such as the high arched, barrel vaulted ceiling, giant glass frontage, fixtures and dressing rooms.

The ceiling was constructed of old growth and rough sawn lumber. What they couldn’t save they used in constructing and decorating the many fixtures and dressing rooms. The artistic décor all revolves around the centerpiece, a 22′ X 26′ wall mural by iconic surf photographer Aaron Chang.

To keep with the green theme they added expensive solar panels on the roof they expect will reduce their electric bill by at least 80%. The design vision of the store was the work of Jules Wilson Interior Design, who blended modern touches with historical aspects to achieve a truly unique look.

Emerald City The Boarding Source is located at 1118 Orange Avenue. For more information visit their website at, visit them on Facebook, or call (619) 435-6677.

The power outage was but a minor inconvenience to
Coronado kids eager to see the new Emerald City store.
They found an alternative diversion at the Rotary Plaza
Fountain just down the street now known as “The Local
Watering Hole”.

The sign in the window says it all.

The new look of Emerald City the Boarding Source was
credited to Jules Wilson Interior Design but had
plenty of input from the highly creative Kraus brothers,
owners and managers of the store.

Joe Ditler
Joe Ditler
Joe Ditler is a professional writer, publicist and Coronado historian. Formerly a writer with the Los Angeles Times, he has been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and Europe. He also owns Part-Time PR (a subsidiary of Schooner or Later Promotions), specializing in helping Coronado businesses reach larger audiences with well-placed public relations throughout the greater San Diego County. He writes obituaries and living-obituaries under the cover "Coronado Storyteller." To find out more, write or call [email protected], or (619) 742-1034.