Re: Layout/Atmosphere for Hookah Bar?
Since you're in AZ... there's a few Tempe lounges to check out and get some ideas:
King Tuts - 1125 E Apache Blvd. They have raised sections for specifically hookahs. 4 raised booths closed booths, and one larger raised section for more people. the hookah area is ALL on pillows and cushiony mats. very authentic looking
Hubbly Bubbly - southwest corner of apache + Mcclintock. modern style with some tv's and very soft couches, dim lighting and black lights. ((well, they JUST moved there and havent been in there but their LAST lounge was set up that way))
Cafe Istanbul - 1310 E Apache Blvd # 101. lounge is upstairs over their shop + cafe. it's all comfortable couches, not necessarily modern though. Many decorations for a Middle eastern theme.
((i'm not commenting on their services, some are better than others... but their setups are worth a looksee))
As far as riff raff coming into a pool hall... i'll second that. The place i FIRST started my hookah journey was a poolhall/hookah lounge... and i became good friends with the owner and he worked for a very very long time establishing a clientele with good people and kicking out the unwanted people. a LONG process. BUT i do love playing pool and smoking. Nothing better.
But my BIGGEST recommendation... please keep the music volume down. I HATE having to YELL to my friends sitting right next to me.