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dyintolive121

The Pillar Lounge

This is where i was introduced to hookah, it has become my second home. its a great place for all those from the reading area and its cheap too you get a 3 hose hookah with 3 flavors and a free refill for 15 good for about 3 hours or so.

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QUOTE (dyintolive121 @ Apr 10 2008, 12:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is where i was introduced to hookah, it has become my second home. its a great place for all those from the reading area and its cheap too you get a 3 hose hookah with 3 flavors and a free refill for 15 good for about 3 hours or so.


Also some great local bands play! dyintolive121, do you know if they sell shisha and hookah accessories or whether its just a lounge because my friends play there but i have never been there yet. I was just wondering whether i can pick up some shisha there.

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One of the worst places I have been too.

They serve only Hookah Hookah shisha, they use one golden quicklite and they wash out unwashable hoses. Unless you get there right when they open at 6 the place is usually packed.

The only really nice things about the place is that it is pretty cheap. About $5 per person. And the nice huge fully couches, but this is part of the reason that it is packed. There are no areas for just one or two people, its all for large groups.

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well The pillar opened a new place in lancaster, pretty nice. I was there last night, rather enjoyed it actually. My only two gripes about the place is #1 parking on queen st in lancaster is a bitch....and two is well I hate acrylic hookahs.....lol

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I really wish they had something other than hookahhookah. I've started emailing the guy to see if he would consider carrying something else. Like, AF, or Nak.

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I went to the Lancaster location over the summer, and thought it was okay. The HookahHookah shisha is definitely my biggest complaint. They did, however, have a very creative menu - I had a PB&J and Gummi Bear flavored hookah, both of which were crazy accurate for the 5 minutes the flavor lasted. They had some sort of tiered menu that I don't remember very well, but a nice option none the less.

I agree that it seems to be geared toward big groups - It was kind of awkward sitting there with just one other person with so much seating around us. We each had our own couch, and there were some empty chairs around us. It's basically clusters of couches (and a few chairs) around coffee tables, all in one big room, as though there are many tiny living rooms in this one huge room.

The decor is okay. Couches are comfy, but other than that, the most credit I can give it is "clean-looking". However, when I was there, they had recently opened (if memory serves me right), so perhaps they've upped their game a bit since then.

I didn't eat anything there, but I do remember them having bottled water, sodas, teas and coffee (I think?) and a couple of desserts - a kid in another group that night ordered some chocolate cake that looked pretty tasty.

Seems to be a big high school-early college type hangout. Not expensive, but not particularly nice either. I would have taken them more seriously if they had pretty much ANYTHING other than HookahHookah shisha.

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Hey guys, my name is Sean and I'm an employee at The Pillar in Lancaster. I love my job and I really want everyone that comes in to love it too. I've noticed some disenfranchisement with hookah enthusiasts and I am looking for ways to remedy this. I think a big issue is that many employees, myself included, aren't well versed in hookahs and shisha. I was introduced to hookahs at The Pillar in Reading and other than smoking at a few friends' houses I haven't really had much experience with hookahs outside of my job. I know that we mostly cater to the college crowd, but I am coming to you guys because I really want you guys to enjoy it here too. While I can't guarantee that I'll be able to make all the changes you guys suggest, I really do want to hear any advice you guys have to offer.

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[quote name='seanp' timestamp='1291246219' post='489996']
Hey guys, my name is Sean and I'm an employee at The Pillar in Lancaster. I love my job and I really want everyone that comes in to love it too. I've noticed some disenfranchisement with hookah enthusiasts and I am looking for ways to remedy this. I think a big issue is that many employees, myself included, aren't well versed in hookahs and shisha. I was introduced to hookahs at The Pillar in Reading and other than smoking at a few friends' houses I haven't really had much experience with hookahs outside of my job. I know that we mostly cater to the college crowd, but I am coming to you guys because I really want you guys to enjoy it here too. While I can't guarantee that I'll be able to make all the changes you guys suggest, I really do want to hear any advice you guys have to offer.
[/quote]

I know a lot of non-enthusiasts don't mind, but I'd reeeallly consider changing the shisha. HookahHookah does make a lot of flavors, but the quality is laughably bad. Even if you're not a frequent hookah smoker, you'd notice that the flavor is gone within a few minutes... and I know flavor is one of the big draws for people to smoke (aside from socializing, the fun of making big smoke clouds etc... which I also don't think you get much of with HH). If you're noticing you have hookah enthusiasts come in just once... this, I would say, is the issue more than anything.
You guys already do tiered sessions (or you did when I was there over the summer, anyway). I know you probably have a ton of stock of HH, but why not diversify and get a different, higher quality shisha (doesn't have to be expensive!) for the real hookah lovers out there.
I posted right above you with some of my thoughts on the lounge; feel free to contact me about anything.

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[quote name='jorlyfish' timestamp='1291398228' post='490198']


I know a lot of non-enthusiasts don't mind, but I'd reeeallly consider changing the shisha. HookahHookah does make a lot of flavors, but the quality is laughably bad. Even if you're not a frequent hookah smoker, you'd notice that the flavor is gone within a few minutes... and I know flavor is one of the big draws for people to smoke (aside from socializing, the fun of making big smoke clouds etc... which I also don't think you get much of with HH). If you're noticing you have hookah enthusiasts come in just once... this, I would say, is the issue more than anything.
You guys already do tiered sessions (or you did when I was there over the summer, anyway). I know you probably have a ton of stock of HH, but why not diversify and get a different, higher quality shisha (doesn't have to be expensive!) for the real hookah lovers out there.
I posted right above you with some of my thoughts on the lounge; feel free to contact me about anything.
[/quote]


The HookahHookah shisha is probably the number one source of complaints that we get, however believe it or not the praises it gets far outnumber. I don't see us switching entirely to another brand anytime soon because we would need to find one that makes 50+ flavors like HookahHookah. However, I believe that we are looking into purchasing premium tobacco to use as well in the near future. I haven't smoked anything other than HookahHookah and Starbuzz. What do you think we should be considering?

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[quote name='seanp' timestamp='1291426398' post='490238']
[quote name='jorlyfish' timestamp='1291398228' post='490198']
I know a lot of non-enthusiasts don't mind, but I'd reeeallly consider changing the shisha. HookahHookah does make a lot of flavors, but the quality is laughably bad. Even if you're not a frequent hookah smoker, you'd notice that the flavor is gone within a few minutes... and I know flavor is one of the big draws for people to smoke (aside from socializing, the fun of making big smoke clouds etc... which I also don't think you get much of with HH). If you're noticing you have hookah enthusiasts come in just once... this, I would say, is the issue more than anything.
You guys already do tiered sessions (or you did when I was there over the summer, anyway). I know you probably have a ton of stock of HH, but why not diversify and get a different, higher quality shisha (doesn't have to be expensive!) for the real hookah lovers out there.
I posted right above you with some of my thoughts on the lounge; feel free to contact me about anything.
[/quote]


The HookahHookah shisha is probably the number one source of complaints that we get, however believe it or not the praises it gets far outnumber. I don't see us switching entirely to another brand anytime soon because we would need to find one that makes 50+ flavors like HookahHookah. However, I believe that we are looking into purchasing premium tobacco to use as well in the near future. I haven't smoked anything other than HookahHookah and Starbuzz. What do you think we should be considering?
[/quote]

I'm not sure why you need to find one that makes 50+ flavors like HH...
I personally am not a big Starbuzz fan - I've only smoked it in lounges, actually. Not because I think there's anything wrong with it per se, but just because it's pretty pricey. However, they do make a lot of fun and modern flavors, so I agree it is something to be considered. I'd also take a look at some of the more traditional brands like Al Fahker and Nahkla... even Al Waha (lower quality, but they make a few good flavors), perhaps. They are more moderately priced. I should note though that Nahkla will give more of a "buzz" than what you have now and everything else I'm recommending. You could probably market that, but just be aware of it.
Fantasia is another brand that's more along the lines of Starbuzz in terms of their flavor types: they do a lot of shishas based on cocktails - Margarita, Cosmopolitan, Fuzzy Navel, Adios MF, etc. etc. but also have things like Banana Split, Blueberry, Wild Mango, and so on. So, if you're considering Starbuzz for it's wide variety of fun/modern flavors, give Fantasia a look as well.
A lounge I went to in high school all the time served a more traditional shisha (I'm not sure exactly what it was, but if I had to guess I'd say Al Fahker) for I think $12/hookah - this menu had traditional flavors like rose, mint, grape, strawberry, double apple, and the like, and another menu of Fantasia (which had not only more flavors, but crazier ones like I said before) for $15/hookah. My friends and I would order from both menus just depending on what sounded good that night, and if I personally were to open a lounge, I think I would follow a similar model.

Maybe you and your co-workers could put in an order and sample a bunch of different flavors from a few brands (just buy little 50g packs) and just sit around and smoke a bunch of different stuff. Make notes about what you think of them.
You might also try your luck in the trades section here, and just say you're looking to sample a bowl's worth of a bunch of different stuff (though you might want to come up with a list of brands, at least) and see what you can find. I don't have a wide variety of stuff (most of my shisha is Tangiers, which I would not necessarily recommend for a lounge for a few different reasons) but I'd be willing to send you 1-bowl samples of some of the traditional stuff I mentioned: Nahkla mint, and Al Fahker mint, peach, melon, and pineapple, and Al Waha pear, for cheap (plus shipping).

The Reviews portion of this forum might prove itself useful as well, though it's not going to be the same as trying it for yourself.

All in all though, I'd recommend phasing out HookahHookah. I've seen the giant tubs of it you guys have (P.S. - love that we can see into the hookah prep room. Pretty cool, would be even cooler for someone unfamiliar with hookah to see what goes on back there) so I know you need to get through some stock, but in the long run, something like Al Fahker is going to be slightly cheaper (I'm sure you get wholesale prices, but retail HH is $15/250g, AF is $13/250g, Nahkla is $11 or $13 [depends on if you want a jar/can or a box] on Hookah-Shisha.com), and I think enjoyed more both by first-time or casual hookah smokers AND more seasoned smokers alike.

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