McNary High School grad Alex deMeurers surrounded by the wares of his new south Salem store, Brick in the Wall (Submitted).
Similar to what many people throughout the country have experienced this year, Alex deMeurers’s felt the pain of being laid off from his job in June due to the spread of COVID-19.
But instead of attempting to find a new occupation, deMeurers took the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong aspiration.
“As it turned out, being laid off might have been a good thing,” deMeurers said.
The 2016 McNary grad has been fascinated with LEGOS since he was a kid, and even at age 22, deMeurers is still captivated by the popular toys, which is why he made the decision to open up his own store.
Brick in the Wall, an interactive, LEGO-themed shop, will have its grand opening on Friday, Sept. 25, located at 3838 Commercial Street S.E., in Salem. The store is fully stocked with plastic LEGO toy products to be purchased, sold and traded by customers.
Opening a LEGO store, deMeurers admitted, has been something he has wanted to do his entire life.
“This is a childhood dream come true,” deMeurers said. “I’m really excited.”
As a kid, deMeurers used to spend the majority of his time playing with LEGOS for hours on end.
“I spent most of my time as a kid putting LEGOS together. It became an obsession that never went away,” deMeurers said. “I used to play so long and so hard my fingers would bleed. I know what it is to be a LEGO enthusiast.”
However, deMeurers wants Brick in the Wall to be more than a place that people come to shop for their favorite LEGOS.
Brick in the Wall will have a LEGO train continually circling the store and it will give customers of all ages the opportunity to play a variety of vintage LEGO video games in the store. deMeurers also will give his customers the chance to dig through thousands of different LEGOS to try and finds the bricks that suit them the best — there are new and used sets of LEGOS to match every individual taste and challenge level according to deMeurers.
“The goal for the store is to make it a place where people can come and hang out and have fun, rather than just having it be a shopping experience,” deMeurers said.
Down the road, deMeurers is hoping that his store will be able to provide an after-school program for youngsters that also have a passion for LEGOS.
deMeurers initially plans to run the store by himself, but wants to hire some part-time employees in the near future.
With COVID-19 still prevalent in the area, Brick in the Wall requires customers to wear masks upon entering the store and use gloves or hand sanitizer before and after touching products.
But even in the middle of a pandemic, deMeurers is looking forward to running his dream business.
“I really hope that everyone loves the idea of the store as much as I do,” deMeurers said.
Brick in the Wall will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — with the exception of Saturday, where the store will stay open until 8 p.m.
For more information contact deMeurers at 503-383-9559 or visit the store’s website, www.brickinthewall.store.