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Vape store coming to Elmwood

A new Canadian "vaping" store may be coming to the northern end of Elmwood Village.

David Kompson and Joel D. Rudewicz are seeking Common Council approval to convert a vacant 660-square-foot former retail store at 1068 Elmwood Avenue, owned by Kompson, into an electronic cigarette shop called 180 Smoke.

According to the application to the city, the store would sell e-cigarettes and e-liquid, and would provide consultations for customers. It would not be a smoking lounge, and there would be no smoking or tobacco sales on the premises.

The Toronto-based company, founded in 2013 by heart-surgeon Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar, claims in its application that it seeks to convert smokers to "non-combustion alternatives," and decided to center its U.S. operations in Buffalo because of the city's "relationship with Canada" and its "recent economic revitalization." Additionally, Buffalo is home to Rudewicz, its longtime partner.

The shop would be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. It would employ three people.

The store was previously home to Cool Hand Clothing and later the initial leasing office for the Monarch 716 student-housing project on Forest Avenue while it was under construction.

The Buffalo Planning Board on Monday recommended approval of a special-use permit by the Council.

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