Republic of Lucha: Mecca for fans of lucha libre in South Pasadena


Republic of Lucha, a lucha libre-themed store and cultural event space in South Pasadena, flourished during the pandemic. That was thanks to people’s love for lucha libre wrestling, plus the cultural ephemera surrounding it. For example, the space recently hosted a photo gallery by the famed Lourdes Grobet, plus screenings of hard-to-find movies starring luchadors. 

“It's not [just] the casual lucha fan [coming in],” says Javier Robles, who co-owns the space with his wife Ari de Alba and wrestlers Rey Fenix and Penta el Zero. “It's the old white lady. We have a lot of little Asian children that come with their grandparents. … That little girl that comes here every week and just browses, and the grandpa talks about 90s matches. They love the culture. There's no division.”

A mannequin is dressed in black wrestling gear as customers view the gallery at Republic of Lucha. Photo courtesy of Republic of Lucha.

Republic of Lucha thrived during the pandemic due to cultural events like this luchador-starring movie screened on the store’s roof. Photo courtesy of Republic of Lucha. 

Republic of Lucha’s owners stand from L to R: Penta el Zero, Ari de Alba, Javier Robles, Rey Fenix. Photo courtesy of Republic of Lucha.