Squeezed between a motel and a power substation, the building housing Roland Sands Design (RSD) can easily be missed by drivers zooming past its front on Los Alamitos Blvd. or driving more slowly past the entrance to its back parking lot on Chestnut St.
In fact, some people think that the building is part of Best Western Los Alamitos Inn and Suites, its immediate southern neighbor.
Not so, but guests at Best Western might have been tempted to join the party on Saturday that marked the grand opening of RSD’s retail store.
A crew from Sancho’s Tacos, based in Huntington Beach but working for the event under a canopy snuggled up against the back of the motel, deep-fried white-corn tortillas for the best soft tacos I’ve had in a long time. Dressing your choice of beef, carnitas or chicken, lip-smacking sauces allow me to rate the tacos as finger-licking, whether spicy or mild.
At the western end of the small parking lot, local band Signal Hillbillys laid down a rockabilly sound that had the crowd tapping toes and nodding heads — when they weren’t swiveling round to check out the latest rumbling arrival at the front driveway.
That crowd included gray-haired bikers from the Easy Rider generation right on down to families with bright-eyed moppets eager to sit in the saddle and imagine some day when they’d have their very own RSD-designed bike.
The lower floor was open for everybody to take a look, most importantly the retail section just off the parking lot. The counter staff was kept busy ringing up sales of soft and hard goods, including one-of-a-kind items fabricated by RSD’s design and manufacturing staff.
You could also walk down the hall to the workshop at the back, where metal gets bent and machined and hammered and soldered together to build custom bikes to make your jaw sag and your wrist twitch.
The upstairs office area is reached by a stair that curves up from the retail floor, around a spectacular chandelier made from a salvaged aircraft cowling.
Big windows along the southern wall flood the design floor with natural light. A hallway running from back to front provides wall space for dozens of magazine covers featuring Roland Sands and his designs. A platform at the end of the hallway overlooks the workshop and leads to a second stair.
A highlight of the event was Perry Sands (Roland’s father) starting a hundred-year-old Indian motorcycle — and coaxing it to keep running.
If you are a fan of motorcycles — or of smart design — make a date to drop in and check out this new retail space in Los Alamitos.
The retail floor at Roland Sands Design, located at 10571 Los Alamitos Blvd. in Los Alamitos.
- Roland Sands Design opens retail store at Los Alamitos location (oc-breeze.com)
- Tri-Zone to celebrate move to larger quarters on Sunday, March 25 (oc-breeze.com)
- Avid athletes turn out for Tri-Zone grand re-opening (oc-breeze.com)
- Great Dane Baking Company open for business after unplanned drive-through (oc-breeze.com)