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Rattlesnake Slim’s: Keeping it Western

Newhall store sells cowboy clothes, coffee, tea, bridles and saddles.

Posted: May 7, 2008 2:54 a.m.
Updated: July 8, 2008 5:02 a.m.

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When it comes to running Rattlesnake Slim's, Gordon Mehterian wants to keep it as real as possible.

Mehterian, who owns the Newhall coffee, tea and tack shop with wife Gina, makes sure that everything from the organic coffee and freshly brewed tea served to the weekend jam sessions are authentic.

The store, which had an official grand opening last week with the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, is heavily decorated to illustrate Western heritage.

Above the on-sale bridles, saddles and other horse equipment hang paintings of Western legends and cowboys. Display cases at the cash register show off various belt buckles and Nudie souvenirs from the past.

"These collectibles are not found anywhere else," Mehterian said.

The store also sells handmade apparel, rockabilly-styled clothing, cowboy shirts and official merchandise of music legends, including Elvis.

Mehterian said a portion of all official merchandise sold goes back to the estate.

Mehterian said he also designed the Rattlesnake Slim's logo that appears on the shirts.

Rattlesnake Slim's draws crowds on the weekends with its in-store performances from music groups that span all age groups and musical genres.

Most recently, John Zipperer & Friends performed while future appearances will include Mark Sellers and The Western State of Mind.

With all the shows, regularly held Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, Mehterian said he wants to create a "down home feeling."

As for the story behind Rattlesnake Slim's, Mehterian said he grew up in Oregon watching Western movies as a kid.

He soon noticed that all "good guys" had a certain style of names that would include "Buddy," "Cookie," or "Slim." Likewise, the names of "bad guys" would always include a certain key word, like "rattlesnake."

Hence, Mehterian said he combined a "good and bad guy" to create the name, Rattlesnake Slim's, which he hopes will stick in the minds of others.

"You'll never forget the name," he said.

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