Southern California might not quite be the center of the universe, but it is a Mecca for American motorcycle enthusiasts. And at the crossroads of the sportbike community and the Harley contingent is the world-renowned Rock Store on the storied Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Sadly, Ed Savko, proprietor of the Rock Store since 1961, passed away April 2 of congestive heart failure at the age of 86.
After serving on the USS Waller destroyer in the Pacific during World War II, Savko ended up in California as a bread delivery driver. While driving his route, he noticed a store built out of volcanic rocks in the sleepy community of Cornell that began its life as a stage coach stop in 1909. Savko ended up buying the store, located between Calabasas and Malibu, and running it with his wife Veronica, now known to Rock Store guests as “Vern.”
Business was slow at first, but it picked up when motorcycle riders began to frequent the hilly roads on and around Mulholland. The legendary Steve McQueen was a regular visitor during the early days, bringing some Hollywood sheen to the location.
Since then, the Rock Store has become the preeminent rider hangout in Southern California, boasting such clientele as Jay Leno, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Matt LeBlanc and Tommy Lee. It’s also been the backdrop for countless movies and TV commercials, as well as for many of Motorcycle.com’s photo and video shoots.
While the Rock Store will carry on with Vern as its matriarch, there’ll be something missing whenever we stop in for a visit.
Edward Savko is survived by his wife, Veronica; daughter, Sandra Clark; son, Richard; seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.