Nestled near a Starbucks and Walgreens in an unassuming alley of business offices on the west side of San Jose lies one of the city’s few brick-and-mortar vape shops. If you didn’t know exactly where it was, you would definitely miss it. Google Maps wasn’t a big help here. After parking in a nearby lot and wandering around like a lost child at Disneyland for about 10 minutes, I eventually find my way to the front door of It Is Vapor 7.
I look towards the front counter to see about four customers being helped by Eric, the owner, unmistakably identified by his awesome mustache. An intimidating army of e-liquid bottles stand tall against the wall. Shiny new mods and atomizers glimmer through the glass cases. A subtle smirk makes its way onto my face.
“Hey man, how can I help you?”
“I’m here for the vape meet.”
Ricky, one of the employees at It Is Vapor 7, is warm and inviting. He takes me to the back lounge where four other vapers are hanging out, mods in their hands as they casually watch the Discovery Channel. I bashfully break out my eGo Twist and introduce myself to everyone while gawking at their setups.
MC shows up with a brand new Nemesis he picked up from the guys at Hella Vape. Truly a work of art.
The next three hours are spent chain vaping, talking shop, building coils, and sharing words of vape wisdom. Some attendees are generous enough to donate cases of beer and snacks for everyone. About 20-30 people show up in total. There’s also pizza. Pizza party.
A combination of seasoned vapers and eager newbies results in seminar-like Q&A exchanges, with everyone more than willing to give advice about the intricacies of this addicting hobby.
After a couple Coronas and some slices of pizza, I decide to call it a night. Eric gives me and MC a mini-tour around the shop before we leave as Ricky hints at another bigger, better meet next month. It was a good night.