Hesperia is 97 1/2 miles from the Pacific Ocean as the seagull flies, but a bit of the pirate life can now be found in the High Desert.


Pirates & Treasure, on Bear Valley Road, is a new store selling nothing but pirate-related merchandise. There's pirate t-shirts, pirate mouse pads, pirate action figures, pirate board games, pirate oven mitts and more. Practically anything that can have a skull and crossbones or Johnny Depp's face festooned upon it is available there, thanks to the store's more than 40 distributors.


"There's a market" for an all-pirate story, co-owner Allen Malloy said Wednesday. "We've had a lot of people calling up."


By day, Malloy is a sales representative for Goodspeed Distributing.


"Nighttime and weekends, it's pirate!" he grinned. "I think it's the romance and intrigue and the lifestyle they lead, which was in excess."


The Malloy family started off as customers of pirate shops in Southern California -- one room in their house is "totally pirated out," he said -- but found them lacking.


"There's a few places kind of down the hill," he said. "And their hours weren't set in stone."


After one too many trips down the Cajon Pass to find a store operated out of someone's garage was closed for an indeterminate period while the owner was off running errands, the Malloys decided something a bit more professional was in order.


"We worked a lot of hard weekends to put it together."


The store is a family affair, with his wife Mimi working there while he's at Goodspeed each day. His sister-in-law, an art teacher at Hesperia High School, designed the store's logo. The shop finally opened, naturally enough, on Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19.


But even before then, the Malloys had would-be customers knocking on the shop's door.


"They've seen the sign and they're curious. ... They're just amazed," Malloy said.


When the store finally opened, they didn't seem to be disappointed.


"I had one lady with a boat and she said 'I've got to get this, this and this.'"


T-shirts, puzzles and plastic gold doubloons have been the big sellers so far, he said.


"The desert needs a little kick," Malloy said. "They've got nothing fun and unusual."


Pirates & Treasure is located at 17189 Bear Valley Road, Suite 120, in Hesperia. They are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 948-4846.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.