Downtown businesses move into old Thompson’s Drugstore

Ryan Loew

By next month, Kent residents will be able to get a tattoo, munch on popcorn and sip on bubble tea – all at the corner of Main and Water streets.

The spaces at 100 and 110 E. Main St. are currently being renovated to house three new tenants: Smokin’ Tattooz, Metropolis Popcorn and Sip ‘n Dip-ity!, an Italian ice cream cafe.

Smokin’ Tattooz and Metropolis Popcorn, which are already located in the downtown area, will be moving to the new locations.

The space, once occupied by Thompson’s Drug Store, will be divided by a wall. Smokin’ Tattooz will occupy one side, while Metropolis Popcorn and Sip ‘n Dip-ity!, will share the other.

Both sides hope the move to the more traveled area will be better for business.

“We’ve been trying to move for a couple years,” said Jeremy Sales, owner of Smokin’ Tattooz. “We were just waiting for a better location.”

The tattoo parlor’s current space at 266 N. Water St. “doesn’t serve our needs anymore,” Sales said, and moving to 100 E. Main St. is more cost-effective than renovating the former location. The tattoo parlor will move to its new location today, Sales said, and the old location will be put up for sale.

Dorothy Lehman, co-owner of Sip ‘n Dip-ity!, said her cafe will be serving gelato and bubble tea – green tea with “pearls” of tapioca. They also will serve soups, salads and sandwiches, she said.

Sean Bammer, owner of Metropolis Popcorn, said he is moving his business for a better downtown location. Combining with Sip ‘n Dip-ity! also will provide complementary goods to customers.

“Hopefully both businesses can feed off each other,” Bammer said.

The current Metropolis Popcorn location at 164 E. Main St. closes Friday. Lehman said the cafe’s grand opening will be Halloween weekend.

Hoping to attract late-night bar-goers, Lehman said the cafe section will stay open until about 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. It also will offer free wireless Internet service, as well as a gift shop selling hand bags and body jewelry.

Although the cafe and Smokin’ Tattooz will be separated by a wall, Lehman admitted that the combination is somewhat of an odd mix.

“Well, we have the body jewelry,” Lehman said, laughing. “But that’s fine, we’ll be compatible neighbors, no problem.”

Contact public affairs reporter Ryan Loew at [email protected].