For outdoor enthusiasts looking to get gear and tackle for an upcoming fishing trip, BAIT in Diamond Bar is not the place.
The South Diamond Bar Boulevard store sells clothing, shoes, hats, and toys – not actual bait.
Manager Marc Conner said the name came from a conversation about how companies are always trying to lure customers with the newest and latest gear or gadget.
“There’s always a new release for a toy,” Conner said. “There is always a new sneaker coming out.”
BAIT opened the Diamond Hills Plaza store in October.
Last week, the Diamond Bar City Council recognized the store as the new business of the month.
Mayor Jack Tanaka presented the award wearing a pair of shoes he bought at the store.
Tanaka stopped by to visit BAIT when it first opened and his wife suggested he buy a new pair for concerts in the park, he said.
“Thank you for choosing and investing in Diamond Bar,” he said. “We really appreciate your business and contribution to the city’s economy and want to wish you success for your business BAIT.”
Owner Eric Cheng, who moved to the city in 1992 and graduated from Diamond Bar High School in 1996, said at the council meeting that the store has been a long-time goal.
“I’ve always wanted to open a shop like this in the city,” he said. “It’s a lifestyle boutique and we offer limited edition products in art, toys and footwear. We open with all the top premiere brands.”
The 4,000-square-foot store has sections for clothing, shoes, hats, and watches. A display case in the middle features toys and memorabilia, including a Bruce Lee doll and Star Wars figurines.
Upstairs is an art gallery used for shows and product launch events.
Eric Phan, chief brand officer, said BAIT sprang from the store’s parent company, PickYourShoes.com, which has been around online for 10 years.
The idea was to create a brick and mortar store, Phan said, adding that a place for events also was important.
BAIT recently hosted a party celebrating the 25th anniversary of Street Fighter, a video games series created in Japan.
The store created an apparel line to coincide with that anniversary and also has collaborated on clothing and shoe lines with ASICS and Saucony. BAIT also teamed up with American Needle, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and the NBA on apparel.
The store also has a line of its own.
Phan said coming from an online world and creating a physical store is one of the most rewarding aspects of opening BAIT.
“It’s more having a showroom and a home base,” he said. “It’s having a brick and mortar store, having a destination, and being able to show off our store.”
Conner said he has most enjoyed the challenge of growing a business. The community has been supportive, he added.
“When everyone walks in here, it’s more like ‘wow,’” he said. “You’re taken back by everything that’s in here.”
Opened: October 2012
Location: 2753 S Diamond Bar Boulevard, Diamond Bar
Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone Number: 909-595-1712