Some Florida A&M University students say hookah bars allow them to enter an environment where they can enjoy music and Middle Eastern cuisine, while smoking a hookah pipe.
The Web site www.ehow.com describes hookah, which is Turkish tobacco, as a water pipe filled with flavored tobacco. The prices range from $13 to $25 depending on quality. Sessions for three people last for about 45 minutes.
“I feel like hookah helps me to clear my mind, and it makes me laugh about the things that have been bothering me,” said Ramzey Smith, 18, a freshman business administration student from Orlando.
While some students agreed hookah bars offer a great time, others said the scene is not so pleasant. Quinn Andrews, 20, a sophomore business administration student from Gainesville, said hookah bars are disgusting.
I personally don’t like them because all you do there is smoke, and I’m not really a smoker,” Andrews said. “I think hookah bars are really hippie. and I think they’re kind of whack.”
The closest hookah bar to FAMU is Café Shisha. Café Shisha, located on Tennessee Street, is a place where students can go to socialize, eat and have a good time.
Jared Brown, 21, a junior psychology student from Miami, said Café Shisha is a nice place for students to attend.
“I’ve gone to that bar on at least four occasions, and I had a good time each time I went,” Brown said. “I think I like it because it’s such a fun place to be. Café Shisha is just calming.”
In addition, some students said this specific hookah bar provides appealing entertainment such as belly dancing, sword juggling and neo soul music.
“Regardless of what age you are, I recommend you visit a hookah bar because it offers a really great experience,” Brown said.
Smith said visitors can get a sense of relaxation and a pleasant flavor in their mouths from smoking the hookah. Café Shisha also offers guests drinks and a vegetarian selection menu.
Tovah Asher, 22, a manager at Café Shisha, said the lounge is convenient as well as fun for most students.
“I think for many students, coming here is an escape from reality,” Asher said. “You can come here and it’s like entering a new world. Not only is it a social setting, but it’s also relaxed.”
Angelica Roberts contributed to this story.