Dingy fruity smells linger in the small bar called Prince Hookah of Louisville on a Friday evening while Arabic rap music dances across the small bar room. Red, green, blue, black, and mixed colored hookah pipes line the walls and boxes of flavored tobacco are stacked across the top of the glass counters. Dozens of small glass paraphernalia line the bottom of the counters.
Duaa Aladely, employee of Prince of Hookah of Louisville said people come here to smoke, have a good time, and hang out with friends.
“People come here for the flavors,” Aladely said. “It’s nothing like cigarettes. It’s different. It’s fruity. I smoke all day every day.”
Hookah is for every age after 18 Aladely said. The people that come in order a single or a double hose, it depends on the group. The bar serves sandwiches, gyros, Philly steaks, cheese sticks, popcorn shrimp; fast food in general. We do not sell alcohol Aladely said.
“I have no idea what hookah means,” Aladely said. “It’s something Americans came up with. We call it Argela. It’s for the hookah itself. Most of the customers call the tobacco shisha, which is the Egyptian word for the Argela.”
Aladely said the tobacco is just called tobacco, but where she comes from they call it something different.
“Ma’asel,” Aladely said. “I don’t think you can pronounce it.”
Colerestle, engineering freshman, University of Louisville, said the name often times confuses people like the hookah bar aspect of it.
“It’s more honestly like a coffee shop,” Colerestle said. “This one is louder than I like it. The music is pretty over bearing in the back ground, but typically it’s like a coffee shop atmosphere. Where you can hang out, talk with friends, and smoke a little hookah as well.”
Thomas Banta, English freshman, University of Louisville, said he liked Bohemians in Cincinnati.
“I like quiet hookah bars for sure.” Banta said.
Colerestle said that smoking hookah is bad but it’s not the worst thing you can do by far.
“It’s much better than smoking cigarettes and stuff like that,” Colerestle said.
People don’t smoke it as often as cigarettes, Banta said and that it tastes better than cigarettes.
“This one that we are smoking now is mango,” Colerestle said. “It tastes like fruit cocktail.”
They mix milk with the water, Colerestle said, which makes the smoke thicker and that adds a little cream flavor so it accentuates a sweet taste.
Adam, a customer of Prince Hookah of Louisville said he enjoys hookah and has a few of them at home so he doesn’t come to bars that often.
“It’s enjoyable and relaxing,” Adam said. “I think it’s probably popular right now because of its novelty. It encourages one to be social. That’s probably a big part of it.”
Hookah bars are popping up around college campuses, Colerestle said.
“There’s this one that is just two blocks off campus,” Colerestle said. “Then there’s another one just a block off campus and then there’s Hookahville, which is three blocks off campus.”