If Cheech and Chong wandered into Planet 3 these days, they might think they were lost.
Savannah’s favorite head shop of 2015 doesn’t look much like your stoner uncle’s sleepy-eyed hangout: No Bob Marley altars or tie-dye tapestries, and there’s not a Jerry bear in sight.
Instead, the sunny shop on Abercorn near 33rd Street is decorated with vintage antiques and chandeliers, the vibe charming and slightly bewitching. Upbeat house music wafts from the sound system, and a fine collection of glass water pipes lines the walls and shelves along with a wide range of vaporizers and accessories. It feels more like an eclectic boutique than a smoke shop, which was exactly what owner Michelle Mcrorie intended when she redesigned the space a year and half ago.
“The culture is changing. We didn’t want to be hidden anymore,” says Mcrorie, who has owned Planet 3 with husband, Brian, since 1994. “We wanted to take it to the next level.”
She professes surprise and gratitude at the shop’s win, since head shops and smoke specialty stores have been cropping up all over town as of late, a testament to the cultural shift towards, um, smokeables.
“People are using it as medicine now, and the perception of smoke shops is far more mainstream,” adds Mcrorie.
Part of the update entailed making the space welcoming for women and professionals, so no more dark corners or chauvinistic Heavy Metal posters. But the incense selection still rocks, and you can probably still dig up a Grateful Dead sticker out of the steamer trunk up front.
On the piercing side of Planet 3, no one’s a stranger to victory. The shop’s needle-philic staff has won Best Piercing Studio for its proper handling of human hardware installation as long as anyone can remember. Head piercer Mason Smith and protégé Rhiannon Frette perforate the steady stream of customers, who can choose adornments from a tremendous assemblage of stainless steel jewelry and wooden gauges of all sizes.
The most popular spots to pierce? Nipples, septums and nostrils, oh my!
—Jessica Leigh Lebos
Runner-up: Smoke City