Steamboat novelty store offers smoke, skateboards, rock ‘n’ roll collectibles and nostalgia
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Inside East West Novelty, customers will find everything they might expect in a traditional smoke shop and a few things they might not, including a wide selection of skateboards, old-school pranks and tons of music and movie collectables.
“It’s like a counter culture,” owner Luke Suvino said about his store at 1306 Lincoln Ave., just across the street from the library. “It’s just little subsets of culture that people really get into — the music stuff, the skate stuff and the smoking stuff. It’s just little parts of life that not every store has.”
Behind all the items in the shop is a tradition that dates back to 1971, when his father, Alexander Suvino, opened the first East West Novelty in Union City, New Jersey. The name is a tribute to a Paul Butterfield Blues Band album titled “East West.”
When it opened, the New Jersey store sold records, bootlegs, live recordings and outtakes on vinyl as well as providing customers with band merchandise and other music collectibles and decorative items.
“I worked there for years after college,” Luke Suvino said.
When he arrived in Steamboat Springs two years ago, he said he was interested in pursuing the snowboarding lifestyle. He worked a number of jobs ranging from landscaping to working in the outdoor industry. But deep down, he said, there was a desire to follow in his father’s footsteps.
The Steamboat store opened in January and offers collectible rock ‘n’ roll T-shirts, mugs, stickers, posters, pins, patches, adult novelties and skateboards.
An admitted skate nerd, Suvino said his love of the sport drove him to persuade his dad to include the skate culture in the Union City store a few years back. The Steamboat store offers Penny boards, decks and all the parts. Suvino, who knows a thing or two about skateboards, also offers repairs.
The shelves and display cases also offer all sorts of pipes, vaporizers, vape liquids, rolling papers, lighters, candles, incense, sprays and odor-eliminating products.
If the Steamboat store doesn’t have an item, Suvino said customers can shop his father’s store on the same website.
“We are trying to create a place with good vibes with items that are relevant to the people in Steamboat, whether it’s locals or tourists coming to visit,” Suvino said. “Our New Jersey store has people coming back generation after generation. People buy gifts from there that they remember for years to come, and they often come back to tell us about it.”
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