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Old June 10th, 2008, 08:35 PM
Status: Offline
Hookah Newbie
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Posts: 8
Default Re: Hookah Lounge research......Opinions please!

Being from a college town (tallahassee) ive noticed most of the local lounges tend to lean more towards loud music, and unfortunately that seems to be what draws the crowds. People want to go and relax, but around the college they want it to feel more like a chill party. I wouldn't recommend having the music at a volume where communication is hard, but i would have it louder than background music. An average lounge that isnt part restaurant wont be attracting alot of adults, especially near a university, so i would cater to the younger demographic.
Personally i agree with most everyone here, i would prefer a more relaxed, slightly quieter place than where i usually go, but its something i have gotten used to.
I would also serve some snack food, particularly some middle eastern stuff. just the basics: pitas, hummus, maybe stuffed grape leaves. Teas and coffees are good, I would also serve a few cheeper wines, i doubt as many people will come and pay for enough wine to get raging drunk like they do with beer, and it will make the place seem to have a bit more class and perhaps bring some more adult customers. and definitely desserts.
For vibe i strongly prefer the dark/cozy feel. I like dark walls, dim lights, and comfy couches/cushions. I would have an assortment of couches and cushions on the ground, some people like to sit on the floor, some don't. Big cheep rugs also help. If a coal falls on them they wont light on fire and you'll get a little disk shaped burn, and if the rug gets too messed up just get a new one, and they add to the vibe. The modern look could work fine, but i would definitely keep a middle-eastern vibe, including music and decorations. Also it seems popular to keep a bunch of nice hookahs on display that no one ever uses, usually they are for sale, but always on display to get attention.
I would also have free WIFI, people like to do papers with a hookah, and maybe 1 or 2 tvs, though thats not really important. I rarely see anyone watch them at lounges, but it usually has news on just for fun i guess.

Some tips for helping with revenue: have a happy hour for down times, my local bar does 4-9 i believe 5$ off and this brings in a few more people. They also have 2 days a week (T and TH) of 10$ all you can smoke. Also have different price levels for your different shishas. As crazy as this sounds where i usually smoke charges 10 for basic 1 flavor, 15 for mixed, and 25, yeah, 25$ for a "specialty" which is just a mix with something in the base. Several people will actually pay that 25$ for 1 bowl.
1 other thing, i would have a somewhat secluded though not completely separate from the rest of the room "VIP lounge" which can be reserved in advance or something. My local bar is basically if you pay 100$ or more (up to 12 people) then you can have the lounge, which is just a little room separated from the rest of the establishment by a bead curtain and a little heart shaped window cut in the wall. There are lots of decorations in there and 3 big cushions on the floor with a tun of pillows and the people in the room have some privacy, but arent secluded, and can control the lights and feel special because they are "VIPs." This also tends to encourage people to spend a bit more, and is great for partys.
Also good service is really important for the atmosphere. another lounge i went to one time had very uninterested waitresses/waiters and it made the experiance much worse. Talk with your customers, recommend, ask them how they like really helps.
Oh, and belly dancing nights always draw a crowd. If your near a campus there are probably a few student belly dancers, probably in some form of club, i would ask them if they would dance at your lounge.

sorry for the length. I've been waiting for a good lounge to open so i have a few ideas for it, hope this helps some.

p.s. I'm Adam, also new here. Hows it goin guys?

Last edited by mada12589; June 10th, 2008 at 08:36 PM. Reason: forgot a brief introduction.
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