Pour Bar in Agawam, Massachusetts, was feeling the pain and difficulty of the coronavirus pandemic. But last month, like many small business owners did during the pandemic, owner Anneliese Townsend got creative to transform her business.
Her idea? A selfie lounge. New England’s first — and currently only — selfie lounge, to be exact.
She began researching the idea, which is often referred to as “selfie museums,” and found the only options in New England were traveling, pop-up businesses, which sometimes stopped by Boston.
“I started to look around here to see who had one — where could I go to check this thing out?” she said. “And I realized there were none around here.”
She then worked to transform a majority of her businesses’ space, which wasn’t getting the same use due to the pandemic, and turned it into a selfie lounge, filled with 20 different colorful and unique backdrops, rings lights and props.
The backdrops include a solid bright pink background, wings, a classroom and a horse saddle. Two of the backdrops were painted by local artist, Michelle DellaGiustina of Inspire Art Studio in Southwick.
DellaGiustina’s mural of angel wings with gems is one of the biggest attractions, Townsend said.
“However we will be changing out the lights or sets, however you want to call them, from time to time,” she said.
For example, there’s currently a Valentine’s Day themed backdrop but in March it’ll be St. Patrick’s Day themed, she said.
Townsend “went crazy and thought of whatever I could think of,” to come up with the 20 ideas.
Customers can use the selfie lights, which hold phones, or they can bring their own selfie sticks. During test runs, the average person takes about 100 to 150 photos in about 20 minutes, she added.
“We recommend people do charge their phone,” she said. “That seems to be the biggest problem people have.”
Staff can help customers learn and understand how to use the ring lights, which can be adjusted using a remote on the side.
It’s also still an active bar. Those over 21 can still enjoy alcoholic drinks from their bar section, including buzzy milkshakes and an extensive craft beer selection. Younger audiences can enjoy the selfie lounge and then go next door for ice cream, a business Townsend also owns. Friday and Saturday nights after 6 p.m. are 21+.
The bar and selfie lounge is following COVID-19 protocols, including limiting the number of people in the lounge, requiring masks and limiting props they are providing. Customers, however, can bring their own props and costume changes. Customers are
Pour Bar & Selfie Lounge opens Friday, Jan. 29, and customers are advised to book in advance in the bar’s online reservation system, found here.
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