New Hail Hookah Lounge coming to long-vacant Firefly Club space on Main Street
Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com
“There’s quite a few hookah places out in our area, in West Bloomfield, and when we want to hang out they’re a great place to go,” he said.
“We know there’s one smaller one here in Ann Arbor but we wanted to have one with nice couches, big TVs, and that cozy feel that just makes it a nice place to go.”
“We like the exposed red brick and the old wood that was already there, it gives you that cozy Ann Arbor feel,” he said. “But we’re adding new floors, fixtures, lights, and everything else.”
The new lounge will be open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and will aim to appeal to the post-bar crowd on Friday and Saturday nights, staying open until 4 a.m. During the week, Saroki hopes students will use the location as a study spot, and promised to be outfitted with “the fastest Wi-Fi Comcast has to offer.”
Hookah bars are common in the Detroit suburbs, but Ann Arbor has only the Smoka Hookah Lounge located above Rendez-Vous Cafe on South University, and the Smoke Station on Packard Road, which opened last year.
The pricing at the new Hail Hookah Lounge will be the same as Smokah Hookah: $15 for a standard hookah “head,” and $20 for more premium tobacco flavors. Hookahs are often split between up to four people, Saroki said.
The pipes, common in Middle Eastern countries, filter smoke from a lit piece of charcoal through flavored tobacco and water into a hose that the smoker uses to inhale. Saroki said his hookahs are produced in the U.S. and are less elaborate than Middle Eastern-made models.
“We want the simple ones because they hit the best when you smoke them,” he said. “But we’ll be bringing in some fancy glass ones too for decoration.”
Under Michigan’s Smoke-Free Air Law, smoking is not allowed in food service establishments. Saroki said that Hail will not serve food but that customers are welcome to bring their own food into the lounge.
“We know the owners of Happy’s Pizza across the street also, so people will be able to order snacks and they can be delivered extremely quickly,” he said.
None of the new owners have previous experience running a hookah lounge, but Saroki already owns one Ann Arbor business, the Wireless Toyz at the corner of 4th Avenue and Washington Street.
Ben Freed covers business for AnnArbor.com. You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2