New York City hookah lounges are full of novelty hookah flavors, with a variety of hookah bars and lounge loungers, ranging from indoor and outdoor hookah spaces.
But the hottest new lounge is a brand new one opened by an upstart, up-and-coming entrepreneur called Hookah Lounge Astoria, or HLA.
The new space in Astoria’s Midtown East district is the brainchild of two young guys from Brooklyn.
A New Yorker by birth, David and Nicky Burchfield founded the hookah bar-restaurant business in 2016.
But, like most things in New York, it’s about more than just hookah.
With a focus on the “fun of having a hookah with friends and enjoying life with friends,” they want to change the way people look at hookah and its role in the city.
And that’s what they’re doing in their newly opened Astoria Lounge Astorias newest hookah spot.
“We’re not just going to do hookah at home,” David said.
“We’re going to be at the forefront of what hookah is in the world and that’s why we’re really excited to open a place where people can actually be part of that.”
The Burchfields plan to open the hookahs at Astoria by the end of May, with plans to be open until November.
That means a hookahs experience is guaranteed.
The Burchfords are also open to suggestions from customers, so they want the bar to be welcoming.
“We don’t want to be one of those places where we just shut down,” Nicky said.
The Astoria lounge is also being built with the intention of being an outlet for the growing number of New Yorkers who have been hooked on hookah in recent years.
Nicky explained that, as of March, there were about 5,000 hookah users in New Zealand, making it one of the fastest growing countries in the country.
Astoria has a lot of potential to become a destination for hookah smokers around the world.
Astoria is not only a hookhavers destination, but a hooka experience too.
There will be hookah stations, hookah clubs and a lounge where people come for the hooka and hang out.
Hookah is a recreational drug that has become a cornerstone of modern hookah culture, but its also becoming a health concern.
In 2016, the New York State Department of Health reported that about 15,000 people a year died of hook-related diseases and conditions.
According to a study by the CDC, there are more than 4.2 million deaths and more than 13 million hospitalizations related to hookah-related conditions each year.
It’s a problem that’s been linked to the use of powerful, over-the-counter drugs such as pain relievers, cough drops and alcohol.
It can also lead to addiction, depression, and increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.
Astorians staff are also trained in the use and proper handling of the drug, which they’re also encouraged to learn.
“There’s a lot to be learned about hookah,” Nick said.
And with a menu that is packed with new and classic hookah favorites, the Burchfathers are hopeful that the Astoria hookah experience will be as much fun as the hookas they have in their club.
“It’s going to feel like the club you know and love,” Nick added.
“There will be a great experience.
We’ve already had a few people come in and say, ‘That was the best hookah I’ve ever had,'” David added.
With a big selection of hookahs to choose from, there’s no need to search around for a place that’s right for you.
The Astoria Hookah will be open daily for hookahs until May 31.