Octopus Garden owner normalizes inventory at second Richland store

RICHLAND — Gus Sako admits he is quirky.

As owner of the oddly curious novelty store The Octopus' Garden in Richland, he has been able to indulge his wild and zany side for three decades.

But now he has decided to normalize his merchant savvy and open a new store that stocks more average inventory.

The store, two doors down from the Garden in the Uptown Shopping Center off George Washington Way, offers up all the yummy lotions, candles, journals, personal care and fancy clothing that women love.

But he wanted to somehow stamp the store with his usual quirkiness. Hence, the store's name, Luna Fish.

"There no logical answer as to why the store has an unusual name," Sako explained. "My store manager (Raechel Mackey) and I had been tossing around names for a new store for about a year. We finally came up with Luna Fish. We both liked it."

The new store's name also didn't nail Sako down to selling a specific type of merchandise, he added.

"I can add some romantic items or funny stuff or both," Sako said.

Another reason he decided to open another store is because The Octopus' Garden is one of the only stores open late at his location in the Uptown.

"Once it got dark (in winter) we were all alone," he said. "I thought there needed to be another store open late."

What Sako really likes to do is have fun in retail, and offering his customers an eclectic assortment of items from clothing to whoopee cushions feeds his self-admitted "inherent immaturity," he said.

Luna Fish might stock items women find attractive but it isn't exclusively female-oriented.

"I am confident smart men will come, too," he said.