With e-cigarettes joining traditional smoking products more and more in being banned from bars and restaurants in many municipalities across the state, “vape shops” seem to have found a home in the heart of the commonwealth.
A number of retail outlets have sprung up all over Worcester, and thanks to a pair of 28-year-olds from the Burncoat area, electronic cigarette and vapor smoking enthusiasts will soon have their own place to indulge on Restaurant Row.
Set to open mid-March, Vape Lounge, 358 Shrewsbury St., in a plaza next to two restaurants and within walking distance of more than 40 others eateries, will feature about what you’d expect: a laid-back atmosphere to hang out, and vape, offering numerous couches, a pool table, large-screen televisions and free Wi-Fi.
Operated by co-owners and partners of Vapes & Glass, LLC, Vu Huynh and James Sherwin, Vape Lounge is a 2,000-square-foot space and plans to sell e-cigarettes and other smoking rigs, vape juice and other accessories.
“We hope to attract a crowd of both people that enjoy vaping, and people ready to try it out. I think the atmosphere we want to create is that we want people to be comfortable,” Sherwin said.
Adrian Pelka, co-owner and manager of Vaporize on Park Avenue [which has a second location in Auburn Mall] said in comparison to Boston’s smoking ordinances — which in December raised the age to purchase cigarettes and other alternative tobacco products from 18 to 21 — Worcester’s regulations are considered lenient and are the reason more and more vape shops are opening up in the city.
“Right now, Worcester is the mecca,” Pelka said.
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