The Origin and Characteristics of Hookah Bars

Hookahs were initially introduced in the U.S. in the 70’s, but, it wasn’t until lately that they started to grow in popularity. A hookah bar is a commercial establishment where individuals come with their buddies to enjoy a “hookah”. One can easily find hookah bars near colleges and universities and in highly populated cities.

A Look at The History

Hookah and the idea of hookah bars originated 500 years ago in the subcontinent near where today is the border of India and Pakistan. Making its way through Iran and into Turkey it experienced an increase of popularity among Turkish upper class and started to spread much more rapidly down through Lebanon and Syria and finally to Egypt, therefore, the hookah bar is heavily associated with the Middle East. These businesses became places where people would socialize, have coffee, and discuss politics and local events with a relaxing hookah session.

Inside a Hookah Bar

Bars that are built to imitate the place of origin of hookah have generally Arab people running them. The furnishings are according to the Middle Eastern culture of Indian culture. At some bars, nothing is served besides hookah. However, at others coffee and other drinks are offered. A small bar usually does not have a liquor license and thus they don’t serve alcohol. The larger bars, however, have a liquor license and they serve several cocktails in addition to wine and beer. Smaller hookah bars normally have music systems, however the larger bars have belly dancers, live DJs and the atmosphere seems to be a lot more like a night club.

Some hookah bars are intentionally built near university and college campuses to draw in the students. Hookah is thought to be less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, cigars or other things and thus hookahs are gaining a great deal of popularity. Hookah bars do well around colleges as college life is a time to try new stuff and enjoy the independence of life. There has been a surge in the number and popularity of hookah bars in cities, which are renowned for their secondary education establishments in the U.S.

So What is A Hookah

Now that you understand what a hookah bar is, you may be asking yourself about the device that has been able to spread across the globe and spark a smoking trend. Hookah was designed by a Persian physician in the late 1500’s. The Indians called the device as a “huqqa”, a name which has remained with it throughout history, even though it is referred to as a number of other names for example “nargile,” “shisha,” and “hubble-bubble” to name a few.

When the hookah was first designed, it was constructed with coconut shells and must have looked quite simple than the complex and sophisticated designs of today. The structure of the hookah has 4 main parts:

1. Bowl – where tobacco is placed.

2. Body – the smoke leaves the body and reaches the water basin.

3. Water Basin – contains the water, where smoke is passed through to be cooled off and purified. Purified smoke remains in the chamber over the water until it is inhaled through the hose.

4. Hose – the smoker breathes in the smoke from the chamber above the water using a hose. The hose can be up to many meters long.

Thick, cool and fragrant smoke comes out of the hookah.

A senior customer of a prominent hookah establishment in turkey said:

“The thing is not what you put in the pipe, but who is with you when you’re smoking. The point is enjoy. In a caf such as this one, you find good people, the old people, the intriguing people. All what people really need to come to a hookah bar is a spirit to socialize, meet and spend some time in the company of close friends.”

There is a reason why hookah bars are becoming so popular. A hookah bar is a great place where you can sit with your buddies and relax with a hookah after a long hectic day. Why don’t you head to a nearby hookah bar and become a part of the growing hookah trend!

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