Chic, new lounge brings hookah culture to Berwyn
The art of smoking hookah has been gaining popularity nationwide. At its core, smoking hookah is a social experience centered on relaxation and conversation. Identifying a gap in the area, Entrepreneur John Dasoqi launched a new lounge, Hookah Buzz at 6912 W. Windsor Avenue in Berwyn (map). The business celebrated its grand opening in partnership with the City of Berwyn and the Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) on April 24.
This enterprise is the second for Dasoqi and sets the standard for melding a practice dating back to ancient Persia with the comfort and ambiance of a modern lounge. Dasoqi sees the clean-lined, open space as the main draw to his business and says that the hookah is simply “added value.” The lounge itself is sleek, decked out with leather chairs and couches arranged for group seating, soft lighting and high definition televisions. The hookah accoutrements and tobacco are top-of-the-line. The management team prides itself on cleanliness in the space, cleaning the hookahs and hoses after each use and investing in an exhaust system that pulls out the air instead of simply recirculating it. In all, patrons are offered open admission to what feels like a VIP experience.
Hookah Buzz’s first location in Westmont has built up a loyal following of customers proudly anchored with those in the industry that seek the lounge’s premium environment. For the unacquainted, a hookah is a waterpipe used to smoke tobacco mixtures called shisha, which often contain flavors such as orange, strawberry or mint. For bigger fruit flavors, the clay head that holds the tobacco can be replaced with fruits such as a cantaloupe, grapefruit or apple.
Hookahs are typically shared by a group and are known to stimulate conversation. Dasoqi has seen substantial interaction take place within his open designed lounges with strangers becoming friends and business partners over their conversations. The lounge also offers complimentary decks of cards, chess games and the like for those seeking mellow competition.
Dasoqi stated, “I came to Berwyn to build a concept that works and that can serve the region. We believe that we have the best hookah lounge in the Chicago area. I thank the City and BDC for their support.” Mayor Robert J. Lovero commented, “To say that Hookah Buzz is unique is an understatement. You’ve done a great job with this space and we believe you accent the corridor’s nightlife offerings very well.” BDC Board President Mal Montoya continued, “John is an experienced proprietor who can welcome Berwyn into this pastime in an inviting environment. We wish you all the best.”
Hookah Buzz delivers knowledgeable and attentive service seven days per week. Their hours extend from Sunday – Thursday from 6:00 pm – 1:00 am and Friday – Saturday from 6:00 pm – 3:00 am. The space offers free Wi-Fi and encourages guests to bring in or order in food. They also sell coffee, tea, juices and snacks as well as hookah, accessories and tobacco.