Skate shop in Five Points reopens, nearly two years after the March 2020 tornado

Asphalt Beach Skate Shop Reopens
Posted at 5:12 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 01:32:55-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Whenever the weather gets severe, it reminds Steve Larios of the day he thought he lost everything. "Power poles and power lines and just alarms going off and water gushing up in the sky. It was crazy," said Larios.

His store in Five Points, Asphalt Beach Skate Shop, was in ruins after the March 2020 tornadoes. "This place was just leveled, it was like — I didn’t even know how to get in it," he said.

Larios also assumed his cat Fabiola, who lived at the store, was gone forever. "We thought maybe she had just run off," he said. After a 19-hour search through debris, it turned out the cat had a few of her nine lives left. "A bunch of roller derby knee pads, big fat knee pads fell on top of her first and that saved her because then cinder blocks came on top of that," said Larios.

With a lot of hard work, Larios' store would survive in a similar fashion. "I mean we started right away. I didn’t even think about it. I was like — there has to be a skate shop," he said.

Within two months, Larios found a temporary location to sell all of his gear. But with a pandemic now crippling the world, it was no skate in the park. "We were able to finance enough and keep going by the skin of our teeth and hang in there," said Larios.

He did get a lucky break when skating became a popular outdoor pandemic hobby. "About the time we opened, all of a sudden, there was like this Instagram, TikTok, skating craze because of the lockdowns and people were trying to do things outdoors," he said.

Now, just two weeks shy of the two-year mark since the tornado, his store is rebuilt and employees are able to roll around again once more. "Everything’s just set up exactly the way we want it," said Larios.

Not everything at Asphalt Beach is totally brand new. They were able to salvage the original concrete floor and build up from there. There are also touches of the tornado all around, between a new mural honoring their courageous cats, and an old clock forever frozen on the time that the storm hit. "That’s when the tornado hit and it hasn’t run since," he said.

Larios says there was never any doubt this day would finally come. "This is our neighborhood, I know everybody up and down the street, this is where we belong," said Larios. "I can’t even put it into words. I get emotional thinking about it. It’s just so great to be back."

It's the kind of excitement, not even the weather could ruin.