‘John Wick’ inspired Pistol Parlour’s companion The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

‘John Wick’ inspired Pistol Parlour’s companion

January 27th, 2021 Mesa Tribune Staff
‘John Wick’ inspired Pistol Parlour’s companion
Business
3

By Alli Cripe
Tribune Contributor

The Vault at Pistol Parlour is no ordinary gun shop.

Owner Clyde Helquist themed the Mesa store around the Continental Hotel from the film, “John Wick 2,” creating a classy atmosphere with Tiffany lamps, a chandelier and blue LED lights illuminating painted gun racks.

“We wanted it to be a certain mood,” Helquist explained as Frank Sinatra played from the stereo. “I’ve had the Pistol Parlour for 40 plus years. I really wanted to do something to feature the higher-end premium guns as a separate unit.”

Born in Blayney, Utah, Helquist didn’t grow up shooting or hunting.

In his 20’s, he moved to Arizona and started a string of businesses. A former employee convinced Helquist to fund and co-own a gun store, which turned into the Pistol Parlour.

Since then, Helquist started to shoot competitively and his love for firearms grew.

The secret to 40 years of business success, he says, is to love what you do and treat customers well.

“A lot of people have a fear of guns. They think that guns are evil,” Helquist said. “But I saw a lot of families become involved in shooting, the wife and the kids, and I kind of liked that aspect of it.”

Helquist’s son Logan, 28, works at both gun stores which are located side by side at 1356 S. Gilbert Road in Mesa.

Logan said he’s had a fascination for firearms since he learned to walk.

“Growing up in our household, you never touched dad’s guns if dad wasn’t around,” Logan said. “We just like the idea of protecting ourselves, the feeling of power and then obviously channeling it into a good place.”

That passion drove Logan to start work at the Pistol Parlour when he was 20.

At the same time, Clyde met a “sharp kid” who worked at Little Caesars named Eddy Rodriguez.

Noticing his potential and similar passion for firearms, Clyde asked Rodriguez to work for him. The Vault is the combined brainstorming of all three men. 

“If you go into a Coach or Gucci, there’s a feeling of ritzy and it opens your wallet a bit. You expect to get what you buy,” said Logan. “This is like a high-end jewelry shop for guns.”

To curate their idea, Clyde hired friend and residential painting contractor, Bob Olsen.

“I watched the movie and got some ideas and then went from there,” said Olsen, who painted the walls, created detailed wood paneling at the ceiling and hand-painted the wallpaper around the gun display cases.

He also hand-crafted the copper vault door at the end of the store.

Olsen said he used PBC components, a handle from an auto show, a combination dial and copper paint to transform the steel door into a vault.

“I’ve built a 50’s room in my house and it has a Coke machine door,” said Olsen who mentioned Clyde had seen the room and knew that Olsen was the man to complete their vision.

Gun enthusiasts shopping at The Vault at Pistol Parlour can expect Winston’s, AR-15s and handmade tactical rifles. For those looking for a cheaper price tag, the Pistol Parlour is right next door.

“Between me and Eddie and my dad, we know how to sell these guns. We’ve cultivated quite a following for stuff like this,” said Logan. “It’s like cars. There are some people who want to get from A to B a little faster, a little classier.”

Information: pistolparlour.com.

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