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mushrat

So, You Want To Start A Hookah Lounge : Updated.

262 posts in this topic
interesting you are having trouble finding coverage. For a brick and mortar Hookah lounge i had no trouble because, well frankly, i dont think they knew what a hookah lounge was. :)

These folks insured my place as a Bar and hookah lounge.

http://www.highandrubish.com/

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[quote name='mushrat' timestamp='1328192466' post='537565']
These folks insured my place as a Bar and hookah lounge.
[url="http://www.highandrubish.com/"]http://www.highandrubish.com/[/url]
[/quote]

Thanks for that! I actually did find a company yesterday that was willing to insure me just for the length of the event. So now i'm on a mad dash to pickup hookah's, shisha and everything else I need for an outdoor authentic medieval festival :blink:

When I came up with this idea I didn't really think the festival producers would allow it. It was mostly one of those pipe dreams (pardon the pun.) You know, the kind you have when you're sitting on the couch, smoking, and say "damn it would be cool if I could ...." Then they emailed me back and said "you're approved, please fill out these forms and fax them back with a check." At this point I have exactly 9 days left until the month long event starts. Good thing i had already applied for my retail tobacco permit.

Mushrat, can you tell me anything about the type of health concerns I need to be aware of? The hookah's I ordered will have washable hoses and I bought bags of disposable mouth pieces, but is there anything else I need to be really aware of?

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cool, you doing this at a Ren Faire?

actually one other thing. Remind people this is still tobacco and if they feel dizzy to stop smoking and stay seated. We used ot have people get a little dizzy, stand up to go to the bathroom and pass out. That just looks bad. :) So watch your customers, talk with them, watch them, and if you hear them talking about feeling a little dizzy or queasy tell them they overdid it a bit and to just sit. It will pass pretty quickly.

Good luck!

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Yes, It's a month long Renaissance Fair. Every weekend for a month, presidents day and two "school days" during the week. I'll hafta dress up in costume (I'm doing gypsy) and be in character the whole time :ph34r: should be really, really interesting since i've never done this before. I've attended the festival twice but never as a vendor, never in costume and never as a hookah entrepreneur.

I have no idea how successful this will be or if it'll fail miserably. I know the "type" of people who frequent these events. I'm one of them. I love hookah, so i'm hoping so will some of the others. Last years attendance at the festival was approx 120,000 so my chances are good. It will be an adventure for sure!

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Ah. I'm in the SCA myself. We used to do the Raleigh Ren Faire ever year as a recruiting thing. Plus we were the only folks who did real full contact fighting in real armour so were were a crowd draw for the faire.

Good luck and DON'T forget to check ID's for ANYONE touching a hose.

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I have completed steps one and most of two and three except for the portion of "The federal registration is free." Where do you register for the federal government? Is it the EIN, if so then that is done.
I have been on thinking about opening a lounge for almost four years now, my original business plan asked for a ridiculous amount of money, I worked at as an administrator at a lounge and saw how much cash flow was coming in, and if it was funded correctly, there was an opportunity for double the amount of cash flow to come into the lounge. Issues have came up and the lounge is going under within a week and I am looking at buying the materials at the lounge at an extreme discount and my interest for a lounge has renewed.
So I am going through and and reviewing the information and taking this step by step since I already have a business plan even though it is four years old, it only needed minor tweeking and I scaled my idea down to be a small but effective hang out spot, I guess I need some assistance on direction. Any ideas would greatly be appreciated.

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EIN and i think your state business registration is all you need if i remember right.

As for direction, its going to be your place..any direction you want...find a building...find a name..get the stuff...get to it. :)

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Hey guys, just a quick update. The ren fair is in full effect and i'm in my second weekend as a hookah lounge proprietor. Crazy, crazy fun. A LOT of work and hard being out in the sun all day. I'll post a more detailed report but had to let you know that it's actually happening because for a while it was all still up in the air because of insurance woes. If you're interested you can click the link in my signature and take a peek at my setup. I think it's pretty sweet for a first timer but i'm totally open to suggestions.

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Quick question to those who have a hookah lounge:

How do you heat up the coals in your lounge?

I usually just heat them up on a stove or a small camping propane tank with stove on it when im at home. How would it be done at the lounge? Thanks

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I used a $10 single burner hotplate from Roses (a local discount department store) ALways kept 1 or 2 on the shelf in case the main one died suddenly.

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ive always thought owning a hookah bar would be legit, but if it doesnt take off.. your kinda boned

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I plan on starting my own hookah lounge eventually, but financially, I need to wait. I can see it being a growing industry.

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Get a real job with a real future..really. :)

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I've just spend that past 2 hours reading through this whole thread. I've been thinking of opening a Hookah Lounge for the past 3 years. I've thought of some creative ways of monetizing (structural layouts) as well as appealing to specific demographics. I currently live in a town where there are approximately 5 hookah lounges and my long running idea has been to open something that absolutely has nothing to do with the culture surrounding your typical lounge, i.e. middle eastern decor.

I know there are there are many warnings not to do this but I'm tired of what I'm doing and I want a different challenge in my life. I honestly would love to sit down and talk to someone with experience just to get some hands-on feedback. Edited by Andres

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Anders: now You said you've been thinking about opening a lounge. Now add another 2 years to that and you can open one. Also if there are 5 other lounges around it might not be a good idea that's a lot of competition.

I just opened mine after 3 years of work, and it was hard work. And the reason there isn't many traditional type lounges out their is because, there isn't that many old people going to lounges to sit its all 18-25 year olds sitting around smoking. And most want a hip club like feel. Personally I hate that type but it brings in money because that's what the customers want. All I can say is do research save up money instead of getting a loan and work your ass off. And hope you succeed.

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In India especially in the place i live to Start a Hookah bar all you need is money to bribe Cops nothing else ... They can spoil your business and can allow you to do it... We had bloody many problems with cops... we appealed to many govt organisations but it seems useless now !!

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You forgot to pay off the government officials as well.

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Awesome thread. I'm opening one in the UK. Venue has been chosen and we just need to get authorised for a change of usage. City centre location. We've got a few interesting concepts running in our heads - nothing that's not been done state side but rarer in the UK. Money and plenty of it is essential. People who have it know who else has it. Only then do u get taken seriously by the landlords and council. In this age of austerity they'll bend backwards to get more money but it doesn't mean you splash the cash lol. We've got around 110 hookahs bought, location should be done in the next 4 weeks and 2 months for the interior to b done. From there we have a month to run late. Looking at an October time to definitely open. Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

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it seems we have much less people interested in opening a lounge, which is good for me :) but the best way people is to not open a business loan just go in with cash so ur not owing money if it goes under.

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I'm going to be opening up a new hookah lounge in NYC and I was just
wondering if you know where I can find out what does it take to open up a
Hookah Lounge in NYC?

I am getting all kinds of different information on this topic. Some
people have told me you cannot open, where others have told me certain
licenses and permits I would need. Can someone set it straight for me?

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just a FYI you cannot start a hookah lounge in NYC anymore, unless you are grandfathered in, i belive this was made in effect as of 2008?

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Naw. I had an instance of 1 couple, only people in the bar, sitting at a 2 top, and they managed to knock over a QT.

Hookahs are going to get knocked over cause people are dumb. :)

how does someone knock over a QT?!? :o they must have some skill

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pull the hose or hit it pretty hard i assume, or drunk.

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just a FYI you cannot start a hookah lounge in NYC anymore, unless you are grandfathered in, i belive this was made in effect as of 2008?

 

I live in NYC, and I can tell you that this is not true. There have been new hookah places popping up all the time

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