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Bedford Avenue E-Cigarette Lounge Wins Approval to Serve Beer and Wine

By Gustavo Solis | March 5, 2014 8:53am
 A new e-cigarette lounge in Crown Heights is offering local smokers a place to light up without fear of getting ticketed. Community Board 8 approved a beer and wine license for the spot on March 3, 2014.
MoVapes E-Cigarette Lounge Welcomes Brooklyn Smokers
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CROWN HEIGHTS — You may soon be able to have a glass of vino while you vape.

The electronic cigarette lounge on Bedford Avenue may soon be able to serve beer and wine after the local community board's State Liquor Authority committee unanimously approved its license application Monday night.

Being able to serve beer and wine will let MoVapes offer "vapers" — as e-cigarette smokers are sometimes known — a laidback place to use the nicotine devices, owner Dr. Sathish Modugu told the board.

“It’s not about alcohol, it’s about the hobby of vaping,” he said, reassuring locals that MoVapes would stop serving alcohol if it gets too rowdy.

"If I have noise complaints I’ll shut that portion down," Modugu said about business at 1413 Bedford Ave. between Prospect Place and St. Marks Avenue.

Community Board 8 members described a history of disorder and unruly customers at the address when it was used by previous businesses.

Modugu — whose business sells nicotine products in flavors like Marlboro, cherry cola and buttered rum — agreed not to have outdoor speakers in the lounge’s backyard space and to close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.

In December, the city banned e-cigarettes in bars, restaurants, parks and other public places where smoking is prohibited. Smoking, however, is allowed in businesses where at least 10 percent of revenue comes from tobacco and tobacco-related product sales, according to state public health law.

More than 60 percent of MoVapes' revenue comes from e-cigarette-related sales, Modugu said.

MoVapes' application will be considered by the full community board on March 13. It would then be sent to the State Liquor Authority for final approval.