Pair#039;s plans for Allston hookah bar progress

by Beacon Staff • February 8, 2006

The hookah, an Eastern water pipe which holds a mixture of natural flavors and tobacco, can currently be smoked at few facilities throughout the city, most of which are outdoors.,Many of Boston's young residents who frequent area bars and clubs to get beers are now flocking to different types of establishments-places where they can smoke hookahs.

The hookah, an Eastern water pipe which holds a mixture of natural flavors and tobacco, can currently be smoked at few facilities throughout the city, most of which are outdoors.

Now, two John Hopkins University graduates are hoping to bring an indoor smoking bar to Allston.

Brendan Bencharit and his business partner Alex Lewis are planning to open the Nile Lounge in August 2006, Bencharit wrote in an e-mail interview.

Although a state law banned smoking inside bars in 2004, the law stipulates that an establishment can obtain a license to be considered a smoking bar if a majority of its revenue comes from the sale of tobacco.

According to Bencharit, he and Lewis were eager to jump at the opportunity when they heard there was a lack of hookah bars in the city.

"We will be marketing to college students and young professionals ages 18 to 24," Becharit wrote. "We want to provide a hip, mysterious and cool place for this market to hang out."

Many students interviewed said they find the smoking method appealing.

"I've been smoking hookahs for almost five years," said Callan Koenig a sophomore BFA acting major, "I really like the taste and the fact that you can smoke them indoors."

For Koenig, the hookah is particularly alluring because she thinks it is healthier than cigarette smoking.