Blue Moon Smoke Shop, which abandoned its plans to open a store on Charles Street last year amid ardent opposition from the neighborhood, met a similar fate on March 17 in Wellesley when that town’s Board of Health unanimously rejected a request for a variance for the business that would have allowed them to open in a former convenience store location in Wellesley lower falls.
Blue Moon Smoke Shop, which operates around a dozen stores that sell smoking and vaping supplies in the Greater Boston area, had intended to open a new location at the former home of the Village Market at 9 Washington St. in Wellesley, which per the town’s zoning is too close to a gas station across the street that sells tobacco products, according to The Swellesley Report, an online news source covering the Wellesley community.
The Wellesley Health Department also denied Blue Moon’s initial application in December, again on the grounds that the business would be located within 500 feet of another tobacco-license holder. (The Town of Wellesley issues up to 10 tobacco licenses and now has two available, according to The Swellesley Report.)
Last year, Blue Moon dissolved its 10-year lease with the landlord to occupy the former home of Danish Country & Modern (and current home of Crush Boutique) at 138 Charles St., following a virtual meeting co-sponsored by Rep. Jay Livingstone and City Councilor Kenzie Bok on March 22, 2021, when more than 160 residents from the neighborhood voiced their strong objections to the plan.
Neighbors in attendance resoundingly expressed their deep concern that the smoke shop would have been in close proximity to Hill House and multiple elementary schools, including The Advent School, Park Street School, Torit Montessori School and Beacon Hill Nursery School, and located just a few doors down from J.P. Licks, an ice cream shop at 150 Charles St.
“I respect the opinion of the neighborhood and am not going to pursue the plan,” Blue Moon’s owner Malik Hayat told The Beacon Hill Times immediately after the business scrapped its plans to open on Charles Street . “We’re sorry for any inconvenience, or bad feelings, we have caused the neighborhood, and we respect their opinion.”