Bayside is getting hooked-up with hookah.
Hookah enthusiasts opened two lounges on the Bell Boulevard commercial strip within the past three weeks, hoping to spread the smoking sensation away from crowded, known hookah areas such as Astoria.
“Anybody that’s into hookah or that’s serious about hookah would have to go to Astoria, but Astoria is saturated [with lounges],” said Sandy Diaz, co-owner of Galyan Hookah Bar, which is between 38th and 39th Avenues. “The reason we brought this concept here is because there is a void that needs to be filled.”
Diaz, a Flushing resident who grew up in Glen Oaks, opened the lounge as a restaurant and bar that serves a fusion of Middle Eastern and American food, meaning that patrons can expect everything from burgers and fries to lamb.
But Galyan primarily targets hookah–lovers or customers interested in trying the Middle Eastern delight. There are dozens of flavors for the hookah, ranging from Skittles to mango and each costs $15-$20.
Not to be out done, Pyramids, which opened few blocks south near 41st Avenue, offers a wide variety of flavors as well, such as vanilla and blueberry pancake, for a similar price range. They also have a custom mix-and-match option.
Pyramids owners, long-time friends Amarjit Singh of Ozone Park, Maneet Dhillon of Briarwood and Dave Verma of Bellrose, brought the lounge to Bell Boulevard after sensing a lack of hookah establishments. A DJ system is set up prominently in the lounge and modern party music is spun nightly.
“We want people to relax, have a good time and enjoy the surroundings,” Singh said. “We want people to be comfortable when they come here.”
Although the two lounges opened around the same time, they have no affiliation and owners said they don’t see each other as a business threat.
“No beef, we’re all family,” Dhillon said.