Tattoo Shop Adds a Touch of Vegas to St. Marks Place

St. Marks Place has long been a bastion of the bawdy and gaudy – from Kenka’s giant tanuki to Dr. Brendan’s Fiat 500 to the psychedelic goblet that used to grace 12 St. Marks Place. Now Albert Dashevsky, the owner of Smoking Tattoos, has added still more color to the block. A whole rainbow of them, in fact.

Back in June, Mr. Dashevsky opened the tattoo parlor and smoking accessories store at 18 St. Marks Place, in the nook that formerly housed a sex shop, Cherries. Scaffolding prevented him from putting up a proper sign – until last weekend, when he erected the one you see in the video above.

Mr. Dashevsky knew his recessed location called for drastic measures. “I definitely wanted to stand out because the way the store is positioned, it’s not level with all the other stores,” he said. “It’s in, a little bit. If you’re walking from either Avenue you really don’t see us.”

To remedy that, he hired a sign maker in Queens who quoted a price that was “a few thousand dollars less” than other estimates. The sign ended up costing about $5,000 to $6,000.

One has to wonder if there’s a chance it will go the way of the giant dog that briefly graced the awning next door to Smoking Tattoo. When Spots’ Café closed, the dog was taken down, and ended up in the possession of a Little Italy restaurant.

So far, it seems the signage, along with the tattoo shop, is here to stay. Ruslan Komitsev, 23, a manager at the store who said the sign was meant to give off “kind of a Vegas theme,” said business had doubled since it went up. “People walk by on the street,” he said.”The first day they were like, ‘Whoa, what’s that!’”