Hatfield shisha lounge ‘is a good way of socialising without drinking’ says boss

PUBLISHED: 16:47 14 October 2013 | UPDATED: 16:47 14 October 2013

People enjoying a social Shisha at the new Shisha lounge in Hatfield

People enjoying a social Shisha at the new Shisha lounge in Hatfield

Archant

An exotic smoking lounge has been given permission to open in Hatfield – with its owner saying it offers a safe alternative to alcohol.

Jayan Solanki has opened a new Shisha lounge in HatfieldJayan Solanki has opened a new Shisha lounge in Hatfield

Last week officials at Welwyn Hatfield Council approved a bid by a former University of Hertfordshire student to open a shisha lounge attached to a restaurant.

Jayan Solanki, 22, said the new venture, at the Everest Spice Lounge, in Harpsfield Broadway, would fill a void in the area.

Flavoured tobacco – along with non-tobacco options – can be smoked through a hookah, or waterpipe.

Mr Solanki told the WHT: “I was on a course that had quite a lot of Muslim students, and they wanted somewhere where they could sit down, enjoy a shisha and have a chat with a few mates.”

And he predicted shisha lounges would continue to grow in popularity.

The new lounge will offer flavoured tobacco, as well as tobacco-free options.

Mr Solanki, who graduated in industrial design this summer, added: “If you go to Edgware Road, for example, every other shop has a shisha lounge.

“It’s a new form of socialising that doesn’t involve having to drink, you can still drive safely afterward.

“I just want people who are apprehensive of shisha smoking to have the opportunity to experience it.”

In April it emerged that the number of people who smoke shishas has doubled in the space of five years – but critics have warned about health hazards.

Mr Solanki said that with tobacco-free options on offer, and special coals made from coconut shells used, his facility would be trying to minimise health impacts as much as possible.

Council planning officers granted permission for the lounge to open between noon and midnight daily.


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