I have never been to a Hookah Lounge, nor do I make any claims to know any more about it than what I’ve read or seen in movies.
Apparently it’s the Middle Eastern equivalent of a Cigar Bar. That being said, if I were to open one of these “Hookah Lounges” in the Lehigh Valley, I would assume I would be looking for clientele who were middle class to possibly upper class looking for something that the area currently doesn’t offer.
I don’t think I’d be putting it SMACK in the center of the worst place to be on a Friday and Saturday night at 2 a.m. anywhere in the Lehigh Valley.
Why? Because, let’s fucking face it. The word “Hookah” doesn’t exactly conjure up ideas of the community coming together to build new playgrounds. What it does conjure up is the idea of illegal drug trade with a pretty face on the outside.
Two brothers want to open the Valley’s first hookah lounge, saying the Arab-American equivalent of a cigar parlor would attract young professionals from across the region.
”There is a very high demand for a hookah lounge in the Lehigh Valley, which has a large Arab-American community. Right now, the closest lounge is in Philadelphia,” Jafar Abuyounis said Monday.
Abuyounis and his brother Hamzeh Abuyounis will have to wait until next month to see if their dream comes true after the Allentown Zoning Hearing Board delayed a decision on their application Monday.
The lounge, if approved, would become the first tenant at the newly renovated Union Street Plaza at Second and Union streets.
The building, which has struggled to attract tenants, was home to Lehigh River Bait and Bow for nearly 20 years.
The site is zoned limited industrial, and a hookah lounge is a prohibited use in the zone.
The 1,500 square-feet lounge would open primarily at night and provide a soothing atmosphere where people can listen to live music and smoke tobacco, often flavored, through a hookah — called an arghile (ah-GEE-la) in Arabic culture.
The hookah allows smoke to pass through water before being drawn through a hose and mouthpiece. Source
For those of you who don’t know, Union and Second street is also near the location of the former Banana Joe’s, whatever the fuck it’s called now, and the dance club across the street that gets shut down every week. The Sterling Hotel and a homeless shelter are about half a block up…
Sure, go ahead, fucking put this thing in and I’ll give it a month. There is just no way that this idea, whether it’s steeped in a good business place or not, won’t be overrun within a week by those who want to use it for other purposes than smoking fucking tabacco.
However, if that chick from Aladdin shows up, I’m game.