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Guest Roka_Miami

HoLa from South Florida

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Guest Roka_Miami

Hello everybunnie.

I came across this lovely site while researching opening up hookah bars... This seems a warm, inviting and friendly place for the novice information seeker.

Here in Miami I have two hookah bars I frequent, both located in Coconut Grove: Oasis Café and Aladdin's Grill.

Oasis is the typical high school setting (they don't card and offer watered down drinks) while Aladdin's Grill offers an Arabian atmosphere, complete with native foods, dancing waitresses and Arabian TV 24/7.

South Florida is full of hookah lounges, just no where near my home. I plan, God willing and if all goes accordingly, to open my own with a colleague or two in the not so near, not so far future. I want to locate her centrally in a nearby town, either Miami Lakes or somewhere near our Universities, and we've named her Röka (swedish for smoke).

I'm excited to learn more and meet people with my tastes, thanks for having me!

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hey Roka,

welcome to the forum, im sure you'll find our members warm and eager to help with your plans :)

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Weeeelcome aboard! Once you get it opened, up, we'll have to get a bunch of hookah lounge members to commute and have a get together there!

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thats exciting. Wana give us more info about your new hookah lounge?

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Guest Roka_Miami

we're in the financials phase.

we've decided on an area and must look for a spot open to rent.

we've worked out the advertising/marketing.

all this will take a few more months...

but i'm sure you were inquiring about the fun stuff! ;]

we've decided on an ethereal theme. we want the ceiling to have a unique mural painted by our resident artist and co-owner, Herman. it should be a sun and moon with clouds, something to that extent. not cheesy, just something enjoyable to look at while you tilt your head back to puff out smoke. he'll also be designing our sign: Röka with the R's leg running underneath the name. in front of the R smoking a hookah, he'll be designing a colorful and large caterpillar. this is our "stop-and-look-at-me" gimmick. we want a large outdoor space, enough to fit 60+ people (chairs and tables). all the furniture and most of the equipment will be purchased in used condition. on each table will be a decorative and eclectic centerpiece, such as a Buddha, a ying yang, etc. One wall will be covered in sheer curtains, in my mind they billow. One corner will be a sectional sofa covered in pillows. there will be a wi-fi connection. food and drinks will be available, liquor not yet, not for awhile (Which i hope doesn't harm sales). the walls should be dark, rich colors (like plum) and the lighting dim (but not hazardous to the waiters/waitresses serving, most likely recess lighting). males will wear green uniforms, and girls will wear purple uniforms. we're thinking about buying your genie/godfather shirts for employees and emblazon the name on the back. music will be the latest and hippest and we're pretty much catering to youth 18-twenty something. later we'll install a flat screen tv or two, after purchasing a badass alarm system, lol.

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Sounds exciting.

I like the ceiling idea and the coloring. How large is the place planned to be?

Here are some lessons i have learned from other places:

- Make sure the chairs are comfortable to sit on for long time

- Don't get multi hose hookahs

- Don't offer free water. EVERY single hookah lounge that i know started by giving free water and ended up not doing that as the plastic cups cost them too much.

- I like the idea of purple uniform, but not so sure about green ones. I would probably stick to black for guys.

- Have some middle eastern food. (small sandwiches perhaps).

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Guest roka_zulu

Good tip on the no free water. We'll definitely keep that in mind..

Why wouldn't the multi-hose hookah benefit us?

The comfy chairs are a must though, no doubt. lOl.

thanks for the feed back nima :)

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The problems with multi hose hookahs are huge and the profit none.

multi hose hookahs require everyone smoking at all times and if they are not, the hookah will not burn right and so forth. So if someone is not smoking they should keep their fingers on the hose.

That is a very small problem though.

Part of your goal is to make money, right? If you serve multi hose hookahs people will come in groups of 5 or 6 and just get one multi hose hookah. For one thing you wont be able to charge twice or three time the normal price of a hookah for a multi hose one (if a one hose hookah is $12 you might be able to charge $15 for a two hose one.

Also, you wont be able to tell people only 2 per multi hose hookah. Customers wont like it and will rebel. At the end of the day you wont want to make them upset either.

If a group of 5 or 6 would have got 2 hookahs, with a multi hose hookah they will only buy one. So that one hose hookah will make you $24 and the double hose would only make you $15.

Also, people won't come to your lounge because you have multi hose hookahs. They come because you have hookahs. So getting multi hose hookahs wont bring you any customers that otherwise would not have come.

I hope that helps

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Guest Roka_Miami

Dammit Zuly, he likes your color better! lol ;)

Maybe I'll do a really dark, hunter green... heehee

As for the free water, you're absolutely right, Nima! Plus, we were going to offer bottled water only. So unless they want free ice...

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Guest Roka_Miami

As for size, our ideal location would be an interior roomy enough to have people stand in line to order food, stand in line for the restroom, get around one another, etc. The rest of the interior will be kitchen space, offices, and a small lounge area. Outside, however, it must be IMMENSE so we can fit all the customers comfortably :)

Food offerings will be low-prep stuff like pizza, nachos, donuts, hotdogs, etc. so small Middle Eastern sandwiches sounds like a great idea! We didn't want all-fattening stuff only anyway...

I can definitely understand what you mean about the multi hose. Well Zuly, we can always try by buying single hose first. Our initial inventory, I mean. Then we can take it from there, not a bad idea really...

THANKS NIMA!

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im glad to help. If you decide to shop wholesale I can hook you guys with good deals too. so let me know

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sure, just let me know. Hookah, hookah accessories, tobacco, all the above :)

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one thing about the free water issue.

I think you shouldnt only offer bottled waters. Customers dont like to pay for water. i personally dont either. So there will be hurt feelings about you not giving free water (and perhaps trying to make money even on water).

A good solution is to do offer free water, but in order to save yourself from the cost of plastic costs, charge $0.05 per cup. This way customers understand why you have the $0.05 charge and also wont be upset about having to pay for a $1.50 bottle of water.

This is what one of the lounges that i know does and has been successful for a long time now.

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Guest Renegade

I have actually been thinking about a venture into the same business but here in canada. We are extremely limited on bars up here and nothing in the central or west coast of canada. Only hick up i can think of here is the "no smoking" in public buildings... cant even smoke in the bars here any more.

Oh and by all means welcome to the online family heh!

Look forward in chattin it up with ya about ideas for a bar

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Guest Roka_Miami

^^^ oh, man - lucky you. i want to move to Canada but the process is sooooo lengthy, i'll start with visiting there to see how my son likes it.

Nima, thanks for the water tip. Zuly and I saw a good locale near where we work, in the Downtown area - but no outdoor space. It's difficult but I'm sure doable...

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