A Peak Inside New York’s First Vaping Bar

Forget your typical weekend scene of loud music and bartenders mixing cocktails at a crowded NYC club. Today’s hottest hangout is the Henley Vaporium, New York’s first ever e-cigarette bar. Owner Talia Eisenberg told The Week that she envisioned it as being the Starbucks for vapers. Her vision has developed into a unique business where Vapologists provide custom e-liquids for experienced vapers and help smokers get a crash course in how e-cigs work.

The Henley Vaporium is surrounded by art galleries and clothing boutiques on the border of SoHo and NoLita. The prime location is perfect to appeal to hardcore smokers that need a plan to ditch their tobacco. The Vaporium also draws e-cig users that are interested in going deeper into the world of mods and more powerful e-cig devices.

Talia Eisenberg first dreamed of opening an e-cig bar after she used the devices to kick her own smoking habit. She said the first e-cigs she tried were long and clunky and they “didn’t have the throat hit of a real cigarette.” So she started checking out other models and eventually e-juice flavors. As she got deeper and deeper into the huge world of ecig options, her vision for the Vaporium was born.

Eisenberg explained that she hoped to use her business as a way to attract curious smokers so they could give up cigarettes and choose vaping instead, which she believes is a healthier alternative. In order to attract local smokers, the bar offers a vegan menu, cold-press juices, and even gluten-free cupcakes. It is very green and health focused and Eisenberg created the atmosphere to help smokers understand that they should make health-conscious decisions in all aspects of life, including their smoking habits.

With just one visit to the Henley Vaporium, people will likely have a whole new perspective on e-cigarettes. The bar removes the stigma that e-cigs are clunky and reserved for geeky little league dads and spins them into a very trendy, green product. Eisenberg hopes her bar will “create a whole unique experience” for people that are just starting to look at e-cigs as an option. By offering fun flavors like Gummy Bear and Blue Raz Cotton Candy, she hopes vaping will appeal to a wider audience.

She described the setting as a combination of “forward thinking” and “Willy Wonka-like”. It does have a whimsical vibe with disco balls, upcycled décor, and mismatched furniture on a bright red floor. The Vapologists wear white lab coats and help people choose the e-cigs and custom e-juices that best fit their lifestyle. Customers sit at the bar and try various flavors while getting a crash course in how vaping works. It’s a laid back atmosphere where people can just lounge and chat with friends while enjoying their favorite e-cigs. The Vaporium is an overall hip setting and it’s already garnering a lot of attention.
Eisenberg said that the bar offers pretty much everything imaginable that a vaper could want. They have all kinds of e-cig units ranging from the basic two-piece designs that look more like standard cigarettes to the ego systems that utilize e-liquids. The bar also offers mods, atomizers, clearomizers, and of course a huge variety of e-juice in every imaginable flavor. Just a few of the most popular flavors include Jamaican Me Crazy, Nutty Buddy, Habby Ending, Sublime, and Hapaya.

Adam Pickman, founder of an e-juice company called Clevervape enjoys lounging at the Henley Vaporium. He described vaping as “a release”, comparing it to a nice cup of coffee. Other vapers lounging at the bar agreed. Eisenberg is pleased with the results she is seeing from her business. “We have 30-year smokers who have switched over and are suddenly running again,” she said. “I feel like I’m doing something good for the world when that happens.”

The Henley Vaporium is definitely shaping up to be a successful business and it could be the beginning of a new trend. What do you think… if there was a Vaporium in your city, would you hang out there?

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Author Focus: Katie Bercham
Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 2 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community... Read Full Profile >