Published: 00:01, 13 February 2019
A couple hope to launch a unique business by opening a music and arts-themed cafe and bar attached to their vape shop.
Ashlyn Pinkney and Paul Taylor, who run The Vapour Range in Northdown Road, have applied to Thanet District Council to make their plans reality.
The pair have run the shop for six years and are now asking planners to allow them to also serve drinks and food.
The couple told KentOnline they hope the music and arts-themed venue featuring a microbar where people can also vape inside will serve as a place to bring people together.
Ashlyn said: “The vape industry has changed so we’ve decided to branch out and become a unique business.
"Our idea is to open a microbar as a place where you can vape, socialise and meet people of different ages and generations who have an appreciation of arts and music.
"We both love music, people and bringing the community together.
"We’ve been approached by one local artist and we’re going to place her works on the wall.”
The plans include keeping the shop and then converting the back part of the building with an L-shaped bar with stools around.
The couple have also requested permission to serve pre-packaged food at the venue, which they hope to open in April.
Ashlyn and Paul say they aren’t afraid to be different and are proud of their ideas.
“It is all about bringing a community together, which I feel we lack in this area,” Ashlyn said.
“We have DFLs (down from London) and those born and bred here and they’re not integrating yet and we hope to achieve that.
“We like to go out and socialise and there aren’t many places you can vape, listen to music and eat. It’s quite limited. We want to break that chain.
"When there’s people in here there’s clouds of smoke around and it’s very atmospheric but it only smells of fruits and custards.”
Paul added: “It will be a music hub as well. We will be covering all sorts of music - house, reggae, garage and even looking at having live bands.”
The couple hope to gain a licence to serve alcohol after getting the change of use approved from planners and are confident of staying on top of anti-social behaviour, with door staff on duty for late-night openings.
A planning application has been put out for consultation and comments are open until February 19.
Proposals submitted to the council ask for the microbar to open until 11pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.