UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A one-block stretch of Chicago Avenue that will also be home to a new Mariano's Fresh Market has welcomed its second smoke shop with the opening of The Smoke Hut.
The Smoke Hut at 2002 W. Chicago Ave. opened Saturday near the northwest corner of Chicago and Damen avenues, just a few doors east of Sweet Tooth Tobacco at 2030 W. Chicago Ave.
The Smoke Hut is across from a McDonald's and a shuttered Dominick's at 2021 W. Chicago Ave. that is scheduled to become a Mariano's soon.
Part snack store and part head shop, The Smoke Shop is packed with candy, chips and other snack foods along with a cooler for pop. Hookahs, pipes and ashtrays, some of which depict exaggerated Rastafarian characters, are displayed throughout the store.
There are tins of flavored tobacco that are for use in of the hookahs, and the shop sells e-cigarettes as well as nicotine juices.
There's bulletproof glass over the register area, a decision that Sam Frihat, a cashier, said was made by the shop's owner, Jimmy Yamani.
Yamani could not be reached for comment but Frihat, who previously worked for nearly two years at the neighboring 24-Hour Red Apple Convenience Store said the area is "quiet."
"There's no trouble in this neighborhood," said Frihat, who switched jobs due to the fact the working the night shift at the Red Apple kept him up all night long and The Smoke Shop closes at 2 a.m.
Dallas Narducci, a local resident, was buying loose American Spirit tobacco for himself and an e-cigarette for his girlfriend on Tuesday.
Narducci said he's glad The Smoke Hut has opened because the Red Apple Convenient Store had run out of the tobacco he uses to roll his own cigarettes.
The Smoke Hut, 2002 W. Chicago Ave. Phone: 773-661-6598. Hours are 7 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.