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Josiah957

Looking to open a Lounge

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Im new here so I hope I am posting in the right area.

 

I currently run and helped open a Tobacco shop in Southern Illinois. We sell alot of Hookah products and I am a casual smoker moving into a more hardcore smoker. I am in a college town and there is a huge market for people wanting to use hookah products. However due to Illinois laws its quite difficult. 

 

Anyways, my main questions at the moments are what the ideal Hookahs and bowls would be for a bar?(i.e 2 hose, 4 hose, Harmony bowl, vortex etc.) I would use the store to supply the shisha until I could build the lounge up enough to just stock a larger amount as to lessen the costs. So i was going to carry a small amount of Starbuzz and maybe some Social Smoke or Fantasia. Also, what is the general rates per bowl, or per person. 

 

Thanks again

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This thread, then for stuff you wanna offer is gonna depend on your customer base, who's the audience you're aiming at?

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The main but hopefully not only market will be the 18-20 crowd at the university. Mainly because we can't serve alcohol. 

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Hookah and alcohol don't go together well in a lounge setting anyway, drunk people and hot coals = potential disaster! What's the atmosphere you're going for? Also, I'd avoid multi hose setups if I were you, they have more potential points of failure which is not what you want. You'd probably want high quality solid pipes just in case shit gets knocked over etc. 

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I am going for a more modern theme casual lounge. Im starting it small and expanding every few months if possible. I don't want the loud atmosphere or the middle eastern traditional theme. 

 

Currently I have most experience with the MYA hookahs most notably the divas. I also was thinking Starbuzz and either Fantasia or Social Smoke for the choices until I build it up more. I know the lounge I use to go to had custom flavors and I was a big fan of the rose water but that was years ago and I have only recently gotten back into smoking so I am trying to get more knowledge on it and I smoke every night now to build the knowledge and hands on experience.

 

 

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Custom flavors are generally just flavor mixes the lounge people come up with that they enjoy. MYA hookahs are generally pretty good stuff, easy to wash etc. Just make sure you also have washable hoses so as not to get gunky rusty shit in your customers mouth/lungs. And make sure to have natural coals, none of that quicklight bullshit.

As for brands, I'm a nakhla original and nakhla mizo guy, sometimes I delve into the few good Al Fakher flavors or if I have a rare possibility to get Tangiers at a low price (in the EU, shit's hard). I reckon Tangiers is the best you can get but also the most difficult to manage and pack right, so if you're not totally on point with your packing and shit yet, maybe go for something more simple, as I said I swear by mizo most of the time. 

I've had Starbuzz and Fantasia and they were both OK but not quite up to the hype. However there is a lot more people who know about those and have believed the marketing, so it might draw in more people.

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I'd go with some Mya Saray hookahs from a wholesale source, and use cheap, disposable hoses (NuHose or Fancy Hose come to mind). That way you can just easily replace your hoses instead of having to worry with keeping nicer, $20-30 hoses clean. Even the nicer washable hoses get pretty nasty over time, especially in a lounge setting.

Nakhla, Al Fakher, Starbuzz are brands to consider. I would say Tangiers as a premium but it's more difficult to keep on hand. Definitely do the Nakhla Mizo line, though, as it's great stuff. Can't go wrong with it. I consider it to be the best, second to Tangiers.

Definitely do coconut coals, a good brand, and avoid quicklights. Have a good ventilation system where you heat them, otherwise your lounge is going to be stinky all the time.

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