ITHACA, N.Y. — Adding to the milieu of shops and eateries in Downtown Ithaca, we have two new entrants – Vape Dragons and the Yellow Deli.

Vape Dragons will be opening at 108-114 East State Street, a recently renovated Jason Fane property. It’s rather fitting that a vape shop would set sights on a building that housed a cigar factory from the 1860s through the 1880s, before the introduction of pre-rolled cigarettes drove it and most other local cigar makers out of business. For those unfamiliar, a vape shop is a retailer that specialize in the sale and service of electronic cigarette products.

More specifically, Vape Dragons is a small chain of vape shops founded in 2016 in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. The Ithaca location will be their fourth, and their first shop in New York State.

As tempting as it is to downplay a vape shop, this is a city that had five or six “glassware” shops on the Commons for a number of years. We all know those weren’t decorative mantelpieces they were selling.

Across the way, The Yellow Deli will be opening in the Home Dairy Company Building at 143 East State, an 1871 building that was home to the Ithaca Journal over a century ago. From the 1920s to the 2000s, the building has been home to comfort food purveyor Home Dairy Company and its cafeteria (for which the alley to its north will forever be known), followed by Maté Factor, a juice bar and cafe. One could probably call this new restaurant a thorough renovation rather than something completely new, because the Yellow Deli is owned by the same group as Maté Factor – the Twelve Tribes communities, a group that has been prone to controversy.

If the menu is anything like its brethren in Oneonta, Rutland or the Catskills (Oak Hill), expect sandwiches, salads and breakfast options, plus a juice and smoothie bar. The Yelp reviews for the sister locations are pretty good.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at