Showing posts with label hookah bars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hookah bars. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Korean food coming to the former Dinah Hookah Lounge space on 2nd Avenue

The Dinah Hookah Lounge has apparently called it a night on 166 Second Ave. between 10th Street and 11th Street... Steven spotted a sign on the Mediterranean lounge's storefront noting a new Korean restaurant was coming soon...

This space has randomly been some kind of hookah place in the past five-bus years, including Entrez Bar & Grill then Farfasha then Dinah. Prior to all this hookah, the address welcomed the pizzeria Pomodora... and until early 2010, we had the double D here...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Scarab Lounge space for rent on 1st Avenue

Scarab Lounge has closed at 139 First Ave. between St. Mark's Place and East Ninth Street … the for rent sign in the window was preceded by a Marshal's Legal Possession notice dated last Monday…

Don't know too much about the hookah bar … other than what we read on Yelp … and found during their brief time on Twitter…

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Report: City targeting hookah bars for closure, including Sahara East, with help from NYU students

[EVG file photo from 2011]

The city's hookah bars have been allowed to operate since the 2002 smoking ban as long as the shisha they sell contains only fruit, herbs and sweetening agents such as molasses.

However, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, 13 hookah bars, including the 25-year-old Sahara East on First Avenue near East 11th Street, are in danger of closing after a city investigation found the shisha they served contained tobacco.

In addition, the article notes that the city completed the sting operation with the help of NYU undergrads. (The city also wanted to see if the establishments were selling the shisha to patrons under the legal age of 21.)

Let's hear now from…

Sahara East:

Mahmoud Gamaa, the owner of Sahara East, said he has been in business for 25 years, making him one of the first to introduce hookah bars to New York. Originally from Cairo, Gamaa said Sahara East, also a restaurant, is a place where people come to relax. "We're about hospitality, cleansing and being with friends," he said.

The City:

"These 13 hookah bars are knowingly flouting the law by serving tobacco-based shisha," Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement. "We will not tolerate this willful disregard of New York City's smoke-free air laws and have already taken steps to revoke the permits of these establishments."


Diana Silver, an associate professor of public health at New York University, said she arranged for six of her students to go undercover in the hookah sting after having worked with the health department on studies. She said the students were excited to do field work and would be giving depositions to be included in legal proceedings.

"They learned it's one thing to pass or imagine a law, but compliance and enforcement are complicated," she said.

When asked about the city's allegations that his shisha was found to contain tobacco, "Gamaa indicated that if so, it was unwittingly. He said he purchases only nicotine-free shisha from a distributor."

Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

East Village apparently down a hookah bar now

Gaia Lounge at 103 E. Second St. between Avenue A and First Avenue was served with an eviction notice on Monday…

Seems as if they weren't here all that long. The hookah bar was the spawn of Temple of Ankh on Clinton Street, which BoweryBoogie reported was "an establishment with the apparent distinction of garnering the most complaints in all of Community Board 3."

CB3 denied Gaia a beer-wine license back in March due to the hookah bar's connection to Temple of Ankh, per BoweryBoogie. (The applicant was apparently a waiter from TOA.)

Feel free to leave your favorite memories of Gaia Lounge in the comments.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Clearing out the Cozy Lounge

Back on June 23, EVG reader William Klayer saw the Marshal pay a visit to Cozy Lounge on East First Street near Avenue A... and the landlord took possession of the space...

Meanwhile, yesterday, EVG reader Anna spotted (photogenic!) workers clearing out the space...

No word just yet what might be coming next.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stop Work orders issued at former hookah hotspot

We pointed out last week that illegal work was being done at the former Layaly space at 98 Avenue B.... On Saturday, we spotted the work continuing...

... and on Sunday, the city placed a "stop work order" on the property....


Previously on EV Grieve:
A rebirth of hookah hotspot Layaly?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Zerza moving to Avenue B

The long-empty Carne Vale space on Avenue B near Fourth Street finally has a new tenant...(and the Carne Vale Web site is still alive...)

... it appears to be Zerza, the Mediterranean/Moroccan Restaurant & Bar that's now at 308 E. Sixth St.

They're on the docket for the next CB3/SLA meeting next Monday. According to the Zerza Web site, they feature hookas after 10 p.m. ... and there is belly dancing on the weekend ... I know nothing about Zerza, but the mere idea of hookahs and belly dancing in an Avenue B bar/restaurant brings up unpleasant memories of Le Souk and Layaly... and the Horus Cafe... By the way, as you may know, Carne Vale was owned by the Jacob brothers, who also run Le Souk...

Friday, April 9, 2010

A rebirth of hookah hotspot Layaly?

B&T hookah hotspot Layaly at 98 Avenue B near Sixth Street was shut down by the cops last fall... In the last week or so, workers have started renovating the building...

I asked the man in charge if the bar was reopening. He said, no, that they were just renovating the front of the building. Hmm. There aren't any work permits posted ... and nothing has seemingly been filed with the city -- I can find no new records of work permits with the DOB. Either the work is being done illegally... or there's some other explanation, which I look forward to hearing...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An endorsement that the Horus Cafe management (and neighbors) will just love

Horus Cafe, everybody's worst nightmare favorite hookah hotspot on Avenue B and Sixth Street, received a nice writeup in Washington Square News, NYU's student newspaper...

The premise of the article: "So for those under 21, here are some fun options for your weekend entertainment that you might not have considered before." To the endorsement of Horus!

Horus Cafe is usually crowded and poorly ventilated, resulting in thick smoke hanging from the ceiling at all hours. But its East Village location is definitely convenient, as evidenced by the swarms of underclassmen who frequent the hookah joint on East Sixth Street and Avenue A on the weekends. DJs spin Top-40 songs and belly dancers drift about Thursday through Saturday nights, adding spice to an otherwise mellow night out. Sample the Middle Eastern menu while you're at it, and you won't be disappointed.

Swarms of underclassman...poor ventilation...smoke hanging from the ceiling... why not just call the DOH too?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another East Village hookah bar closes

Several readers have pointed out that the Revitali Hookah Lounge‎ at 125 First Ave. between St. Mark's and Seventh Street...

....recently closed. The space is now for rent.

Meanwhile, there are only 592 hookah bars left in the neighborhood...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Readers respond to Le Souk's closure

[Image via Eater]

Several people left comments yesterday in response to Le Souk closing up on Avenue B. A sampling:

First Le souk has been on Ave B more than 8 yrs. (get your facts straight bro the club has been there since 1999)

This place has been closed by several parties (no pun intended).

1 The peeps who moved in years after Le Souk and several other biz wrestled the area away from the crime that kept these same people hiding in there safe hoods.

2 The Neo fascist LOCAL and NYC administration, that is more intent on trying to facilitate/negotiate mutli-billion dollar deals with construction developers than creating programs to help build and sustain small businesses.

This seems to me an amazing situation in the current economic climate. To crush any kinda business, let alone one that brings thousands of dollars a day to the local economy. Call me silly or irresponsible but it just seems like an absurd maneuver to me.


Why all the haters? This neighborhood was nothing before Le Souk arrived. You will regret your petty 311 calls and waa-waaing baby talk to the community board when the rats and drugheads take over. You will beg us to return. Guess we will be giving our money now to the good people on La Guardia Place, home of the Le Souk Harem. I hope they will appreciate all that Le Souk regulars have to offer a neighborhood.


If you don't want to live on a street or ave. that has businesses, perhaps moving out of the city would be best for you. The city is alive and people go out and night life abounds.


Forgive me if I'm wrong but isn't LeSouk a Mom & Pop shop that has been put out of business by people complaining everyday about the noise and their over crowding?
Are we mourning the loss or congratulating the NIMBYs who blocked them from doing business.


It's very arrogant to feel that just because someone wants to go out get really drunk and be loud and obnoxious that it's okay to be a disturbance to others and that residence ought to be "grateful" for you coming and bringing revenue into the neighborhood - because of course it was rat and drug infested before, right? And was "nothing" before you came spending your money, right? Unfortunately this is the mentality that is causing clubs and bars to experience difficulty when it comes to getting liquor licenses.


It's worth noting that -- neighbor complaints notwithstanding -- Le Souk's liquor license was terminated by the SLA because the club failed to operate in compliance with applicable laws, not because residents had issues with it. Surely the complaint history did not help, but this termination was about more than noise complaints, and it went through the court system.

For all of the talk about the negative impact on businesses, why did local business owners not show up en masse to speak on behalf of Le Souk at community board meetings, if this one particular club was truly that important? Closing Le Souk does not represent a fast track back to 1980. Countless nightlife spots in the East Village operate successfully as good neighbors and no one has less fun as a result.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Seizures: Layaly shuttered on Avenue B

B&T hookah hotspot Layaly at 98 Avenue B near Sixth Street was shut down last week.

Even the vanity ATM is gone.



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Horus Cafe sidewalk cafe moving right along

As mentioned a few weeks ago...The Horus Cafe on Avenue B at Sixth Street is getting an enclosed sidewalk cafe...which looks nearly complete now.

A reader who lives down the street noted:

i get to walk by the b&t velvet-rope crowd daily, and can barely get by them all sprawled out, texting, celphone chatting, smoking, flicking cigarette butts everywhere and generally being gross. i usually just walk in the street. NOW with this "cafe" taking up half the sidewalk, plus the velvet rope line, what does that leave???

Meanwhile. A quick flashback to a post from April...

Here's the line to get into Horus Cafe at Avenue B and Sixth Street Saturday around 9 for the Belly Dancers Night....

Monday, August 31, 2009

Avenue B's Horus Cafe getting a sidewalk cafe

The Horus Cafe on Avenue B at Sixth Street...

is adding on a sidewalk cafe, according to work permits. Looks as if it will be enclosed. Still.


Meanhwile in Hell's Kitchen!
Shelia McClear has the story of the new Horus Too (the same owners as the three East Village Horus locations) on West 46th Street. It's a dandy, featuring angry neighbors, community board baiting-and-switching...


While a business owner is not legally obligated to follow the instructions of a community board, Moyer said that the owners willfully misrepresented their intentions. According to Moyer, when someone asked the owner at a meeting, “No hookahs, right?” he replied, “No, no, just good Mediterranean food.”

The restaurant is open until 4 a.m., despite the owners originally telling the board they would close at midnight.

"Hell’s Kitchen neighbors’ fears flamed by hookah bar’s fumes"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


From Page Six:

IT'S casting time for "Sex and the City" extras. Producers of the sequel starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon are holding a "cattle call" Thursday at the soon-to-open restaurant Le Souk on LaGuardia Place. "They're looking for Middle Eastern people for a scene where the girls go to a club in a Middle Eastern neighborhood, so it's fitting they're holding it at a hookah lounge and restaurant," our spy said.

Monday, April 6, 2009

East Village finally gets the hookah bar it so desperately needed

And how many different restaurants has this spot been since it was the lighting supply store? At 107 Avenue A near East Seventh Street (next to 7A).

Speaking of hookah bars...

Here's the line to get into Horus Cafe at Avenue B and Sixth Street Saturday around 9 for the Belly Dancers Night....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rico gets the hook(ah)?

Well, it looks as if Rico, the hookah joint on Avenue C between Ninth Street and 10th Street has closed. Or else they're "renovating" the space, which is suspiciously empty. IF, in fact, Rico has closed, this would mean there are only 417 hookah bars left in the East Village, aka the "hookah zone."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning edition

"Over the past two years, Frank Bruni, the New York Times' restaurant critic has mentioned the East Village in articles over 35 times, according to a Lexis-Nexis search, while at the other end of the spectrum, neighborhoods like Harlem (7 mentions), Chinatown (4), Washington Heights (1), and East Harlem (0) were written about much less frequently." (Portfolio)

Exclusive research from East Village Podcasts: The East Village dominates in hookah bars per square mile worldwide.

Rehab on Avenue B can be all yours for $350,000 (Grub Street)

In case you need a vintage Pucci pantsuit on the fly, just head over to Cooper Square. (Colonnade Row)

The stuff workers leave lying around (BoweryBoogie)