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Nima

What do you need to start a hookah lounge?

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Yes, menu of filling appetizers, beer, hookah, tea, backgammon, no more than 2 large tvs (its not a sports bar but will show the main games), low sitting comfortable couches and tables for those who wana work and smoke.

And of course turkish coffee

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And of course turkish coffee

At the very least. Real coffee. It goes wonderfully with tobacco. I would not allow cigarette smoking but I would have a standing humidor and allow cigar smoking in the back near the TVs. Preferably, I would have the TVs in their own area so that the screams of joy and anger don't interrupt the mood. It would also help to keep the more dainty patrons from complaining about the cigar smoke.

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eh, I do think alcohol (wine/beer at least) are necessary for a lounge. Not liquor - too much for a chill hookah lounge.

If not main courses, appetizers are a must

I think everybody would agree that a beer or wine go great with a hookah, but necessary? What then would those (like me) do in cities with laws against smoking in food establishments and no alcohol because there are no food sales? Can't afford a full-on kitchen in a separately ventilated room... I don't think most people can. A lot of these lounges that have been created may or may not have been grandfathered into the new laws presented in many places... I'm not sure. But I do know in my experience, most of them have food and alcohol... and crappy hookahs! And I don't return. Because when I want a good hookah, I will go to a good hookah lounge (none exist here yet), and when I want a good beer I will go to a pub with great micros. I agree with pineappledaddy that people like a one-stop place, but at the same time, a smart businessman who can't get around the laws can at least set something up with great local food joints and keep plenty of delivery menus on hand for customers so they can order food from the lounge. I hate to think that my options are either to don't start an amazing hookah experience in a big city where good hookah is lacking or come up with $100,000+ to finance all the ventilation, kitchen, licenses and staff to compensate for selling food and beer.

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In the hookah place that I usually go to, there's around 50-60 flavors on the little personal menus, as well as a price for "soda", "smoothie", etc.

They do not, however, have a list of the drinks (something more specific than "soda"?) or a description of any of the flavors. What first-timer in a hookah bar is going to know what Dragon's Breath is, or Ace of Spades, etc? Short descriptions (one to two flavor words, such as "berry mix", "mint", etc) would be great to have.

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Haha, I agree. That's where great customer service comes into play. The lounge employee should be on top of it helping each customer through the menu, instead of expecting people to know what everything tastes like already.

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I think a short list of flavors is also important (instead of overwhelming people with too many flavors)

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I don't think a short list is necessarily the best -- perhaps something between "short" and "long".

Bonus points if the place makes their own stuff.

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Depends on the customer type (whether they're avid smokers or casual smokers)

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Based on the past 3 weeks of being open, the other hookah lounge in town has a short list of flavors, and we've got over 70 flavors spanning 5 different brands (Nakhla, AF, Starbuzz, Tangiers, Shiazo Steam Stones), and everybody has had nothing but rave reviews about the selection that we carry.

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Based on the past 3 weeks of being open, the other hookah lounge in town has a short list of flavors, and we've got over 70 flavors spanning 5 different brands (Nakhla, AF, Starbuzz, Tangiers, Shiazo Steam Stones), and everybody has had nothing but rave reviews about the selection that we carry.

Very cool to hear. I wish you the best of luck.

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Based on the past 3 weeks of being open, the other hookah lounge in town has a short list of flavors, and we've got over 70 flavors spanning 5 different brands (Nakhla, AF, Starbuzz, Tangiers, Shiazo Steam Stones), and everybody has had nothing but rave reviews about the selection that we carry.

Wow, very interesting and good to know

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