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Last weekend, after a long, grueling day of floor sanding, JoAnna Farr fell into a chair, lifted the remote as if it weighed 10 pounds and pressed on. The show Modern Marvels welcomed her home. The episode featured "The Marvel of Steam" stating "the largest steam explosion known to modern man was Mount St. Helens."
A smile erupted on Farr's face.
She sat up, threw her hand into the air knowing the next giant steam explosion is going to occur at Steampunk Vapory Lounge on St. Helens Avenue in downtown Tacoma.
Farr and business partners Jim Oliver and Natalie Durflinger will open the vaping/beer & wine lounge next month, if all goes well. The shop will sell electronic cigarettes and e-cig accessories, in addition to providing an environment for vaping e-cigs backed with local beer and wine.
An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, does not contain tar or carcinogens that can harm the body like typical cigarettes, but does contain nicotine. The nicotine is turned from liquid to vapor by a lithium battery-operated heating element inside the e-cigarette. It is then inhaled and exhaled simply as water vapor. The nicotine is absorbed into the system and the exhaled water vapor does not leave lingering odors or anything in the air.
"E-cigarettes satisfy not only the nicotine crave, but the entire habit and addiction of smoking cigarettes," told me as I toured the shell of the future Steampunk Vapory Lounge. "Many long-time smokers use vaping to quit smoking."
Farr says their vaping juices are made locally - many of which are organic. They are working with several local juice creators, including, Banzai Vapors in Tacoma, which will introduce a steampunk juice flavor for the grand opening of the Steampunk Vapory Lounge.
The Steampunk Vapory Lounge is the brainchild of Oliver and Durflinger. Farr met the two at her former business venture, the SideBar Bistro.
"Their office was literally next door to the restaurant and they were also our best customers," explains Farr. "Natalie's daughter even worked with me at the restaurant. Jim, Natalie, and I had plenty of time to talk - as the SideBar was usually empty - and they had mentioned they were in the process of opening their own firm. Fast-forward a year. ... The Bistro had closed, and Natalie called me out of the blue to offer me job in their thriving law firm - Durflinger, Oliver, and Associates, on St. Helens Avenue. We found that we really enjoyed working together and soon after I started, they asked me to be part of Steampunk Vapory Lounge. So once we found this great new space, right down the street from the firm, we went straight to work."
Farr explains the SideBar failed because of "a terrible location, tanking economy and outrageously high rent. It was a business owner's worst nightmare. It cost me my marriage. Needless to say, I was more than leery to ever open another business."
The cozy space will easily morph into the trio's Neo-Victorian antique theme. Expect ornate tin ceilings, rich dark hardwood floors and plush leather seating. The color scheme will vary from beiges to velvety maroons - all laced with black trim to match the amazing original staircase that curves up to the upstairs lounge. Dotting the walls will be unique signage and artwork.
Unbeknownst to the trio during planning phases, The Tea Works - a few doors down in the St. Helen's Ave. Mercantile - carries a steampunk theme. Tea Works will add a few elements to the Steampunk Vapory Lounge's interior, including assisting the trio with signage.
While local beer and wine contracts are in the initial phases, it looks as if Pacific Grill will cater SVL's food, making proposed vape meetings and wine tastings more desirable.
If you have been dreaming of vaping e-cigs and sipping a local brew in a post-apocalyptic, neo Victorian parlor, keep an eye on this blog for more details on the Steampunk Vapory Lounge's opening.
STEAMPUNK VAPORY LOUNGE, 759 ST. HELEN'S AVE., TACOMA