Vaping is the hot new trend across the United States and as the community gets bigger and bigger so does the necessity for more public spaces where fans can get together, drink a cup of coffee and enjoy their puffing. Following this vaping fever is ex-smoker and electronic cigarette enthusiast Aaron Hand, who recently opened Celtic Vapes, a store that doubles as a retail ecig business and “vaping” lounge on Valley Road in Mocksville, North Carolina, a town of five-thousand located among the tobacco fields near tobacco metropolis Winston-Salem.
Although it’s not the first vape shop in town, it is the first one to offer a vaping lounge and Aaron has even asked a loyal customer to design a ceramic logo for the emporium. “It’s like a bar without any alcohol or a hookah bar without the hookahs,” Hand said of his shop at 562 Valley Road. The Irish inspired lounge opened in January of 2014 but is has a lavish grand opening scheduled in March on St. Patrick’s Day.
Now that smoking is banned in restaurants and bars, people all across the state are looking for alternatives on smoking analog cigarettes and the lounge offers just that: a quiet, intimate place where people can hang out, watch videos, socialize and enjoy their favorite electronic cigarette flavor. It’s a great place to catch up with the latest trends in the industry, to try out some new flavors or even learn how to mix your own cocktails.
Electronic cigarettes are battery powered devices that vaporize a nicotine mixture called e-liquid while producing rich clouds of vapor which the users inhale. It’s like enjoying a cigarette but without the hazardous effects of smoke and carcinogens. You also choose from a great variety of flavors, from the classical tobacco taste to the more exotic hookah style aromas like fruit, berries or vanilla ice cream. Hand stocks a range of devices as well as the e-juices so as far as any vaper is concerned, the lounge has got everything covered.
The owner got the idea of opening such an establishment at “VaperCon”, a gathering of e-cig enthusiasts in Virginia, so he found the space for his shop in a building in Mocksville that was originally designed as a massage parlor. The variety of small rooms was ideal for the intimate atmosphere that Hand was looking for, with several intimate nooks instead of one large room.
A photograph posted in the Winston-Salem Journal displays a variety of interesting personal vaporizers and mods, which are more appealing for vapers, rather than regular cig-a-likes they are used to seeing in vape shops or markets.
A law passed in 2013 in North Carolina bans the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, but this is ok since you have to be over 18 years old in order to get access inside the Celtic Vapes.
Vapers are finding a haven and a nice social atmosphere in vaping lounges, so continued growth is certain to follow. “This is a new generation of people coming together and doing something different,” says Aaron Hand.