Friday, March 20, 2009

Hookah Dreams

Eric Osowski, a recent University of Colorado graduate, started a rather clever small business in Denver: Deliver-a-Bowl. It's a hookah rental and delivery business. For $15, you get a hookah for a few hours, as well as some quality hookah tobacco. Deliver-a-Bowl comes back later for the hookah.

Back in college, my co-blogger Larry brought home a hookah from a semester abroad in Israel. It was truly awesome. I could tell various stories about our adventures with the hookah, but I don't know if I have permission to reveal them here, so I'll hold off.

Anyway, years later, I bought my own hookah. I still have it, though it has gone unused (thanks to Asbury's ethos statement) for the past few years. With it I have stoked out a small business dream that wafts through my head from time to time:

A combination hookah bar/used bookstore/coffeehouse.

I've been to all three, and they are awesome places individually. I figure that their coolness stacks exponentially, not merely multiplies.

I'll call it The Peavine in reference to a very special place, and locate it in a bohemian district of a southern city. We'd have open mic poetry night, guitarist solos, and radical philosophy discussions. It'd be a little slice of bohemian heaven.


truevyne said...

I revamped my blogroll, and I now I'm so glad to have a picture of a bong on my sidebar- thanks to the latest blogroll technologies and your blog. Thanks, bud. ROFL.

JD said...

don't forget to check local statutes regarding smoking. that will probably be your biggest hurdle and may require some sort of transplant in order to make your dream come true....or a little "greasing of the wheel," whichever is less offensive to your aspirations.


larry said...

Ah yes, our hookah days were such fun! My father keeps my pipe in his office (he works for one of the universities in the Big 10 conference) until I have a place where I can store it properly for myself (not to mention use it!) I definitely need to replace the seal for it, but hopefully other than that, it will be good to go!

Still, if your business dream comes true, I would most certainly do what I could to be a client!

Tom Jackson said...

Uh, right.

1. Cop rents hookah.
2. Cop tests hookah for traces of non-tobacco smoking substances.
3. Cop finds such traces, either left by one of your previous customers or planted by cop who rented hookah.
4. John the Librarian is in deep s***, particularly considering the draconian drug laws of his current state of residence.

I'm not sure this is a real good business plan. But then I'm not a business-type person, so I could be wrong.

Divers and Sundry said...

I've never been -they cater to a younger crowd- but the local hookah bar seems to be doing a fine business. No used books, though.

John said...

Well, I wouldn't go into a hookah rental business. Just a regular hookah bar. Of which there are plenty that manage to stay in business.

But yes, one must be careful about what goes into one's hookah. Why, once, these drunken frat boys came up to me and Larry as were tokin' on his hookah on a dorm porch one night and offered, in hushed tones, to find us something a bit stronger to put into it.

Tom Jackson said...

You're right; a hookah bar might be a better idea. You could call it "The Caterpillar," if "Peavine" is too obscure for your customers.

If you go into the hookah/coffee/bookstore business, you should consider installing excellent ventilation, so that the coffee/book customers who hate the smell of smoke don't get it in their clothes, books, hair, etc.

the reverend mommy said...

I'd go!

Better than my pub/laundromat idea -- Suds and Duds.

I have the books for you, if you wish. About 5000 I need to dump real soon. They take up too much space in the garage.

John said...

That's very kind of you, Theresa. Alas, I have no room myself for any more books, and plan on dumping my seminary books soon.

5,000? Wow!

John said...


I think that I would forbid smoking anything other than the hookah tobacco -- which is quite sweet smelling, and has very little actual tobacco in it.

I loathe the smell of cigarettes and wouldn't want to work anywhere that reeks of it.