The building on St. Marks that once played host to Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable, featuring the Velvet Underground, is now home to Beyond Vape — a West Coast-based electronic cigarette store that opened Saturday.
Kyle Cope, the store’s 28-year-old manager, was organizing house e-juices (the liquid mixture of nicotine and flavoring that’s vaporized by an e-cigarette) when we stopped by this afternoon. “We welcome everyone from beginners to experts,” he assured us. “I used to be a Verizon Wireless retail salesman selling smart phones to 70-year-olds, so I feel for people. If you come in here and you don’t know anything I’m not going to treat you like an asshole. I’ll do my best to explain everything to you and help you out.”
So don’t hesitate to ask the man to guide you through the shop’s 133 juice flavors (prices range from $8 to $28 and flavors range from Celestial Honey Dew to Tiramisu) and its tanks (the cigarette tube), heating elements and custom drip tips, should you want to smoke your e-cig through a tip shaped like a bunny or a Hulk fist. A basic starter kit consisting of a battery, charger, and tank will cost you $30. But Cope’s prime jewel is The Hero, a $255 mechanical mod by Calmodz that can be customized to your e-cig preference. Buy it, or anything else, and you’ll be welcome to chill on the store’s plush leather couch and have a coffee while you tinker with it.
“I’m actually using The Hero right now,” he said. “My whole setup probably cost me around $375 when all was said and done.”
Beyond Vape also carries juice made by the company Five Pawns. “The fine wine of e-juices” are individually wrapped and sealed and have a handwritten serial number on the box as well as the signature of the person who packed your e-wine.