LINCOLN PARK — Do you snus? If so, there's a new pop-up shop for you.
The Swedish Snus Store has opened in a small storefront at 840 W. Armitage Ave. It's expected to be open through October.
"It's a pop-up store, but we look at it more as a flagship for our brand," said Mike Dean, spokesman for the Swedish Match parent company.
It follows earlier pop-up shops in New York City and Los Angeles for the purveyors of Swedish smokeless tobacco.
Dean described snus as "a smokeless, spitless tobacco that consumers can use in their upper lip." It uses a Swedish process he compared to pasteurization to produce something "more discreet" and "a little bit lighter in taste" than typical American snuffs and chews.
It's still tobacco, so signs warn of the cancer risk, and the store limits customers to those 21 and older.
But otherwise it's meant to be inviting, a place where people can drop in to relax or work as they would at a coffee shop. Local designer Jesus Corral plans an art exhibit there from 5-8 p.m. Saturday.
"It's a no-pressure space," Dean said.
Chicago made sense as a major market.
"We also do very well there," Dean added. "It's one of our first markets that we launched in."
Snus (rhymes with "moose") is available alongside cigarettes in convenience stores, but also in premium tobacconists, like the Up Down Cigar Shop, 1550 N. Wells St., which Dean called "one of our best customers." Dean said there were about a dozen local tobacconists who'd backed the product, and "they really kind of got the brand off of the ground."
In fact, Dean said, the company briefly considered a location across the street from the Up Down for the pop-up shop before seizing on the sleek, slim storefront on Armitage.