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B-TOWN BIZ: Burien’s First-Ever Hookah Bar Is Now Open For Business

Burien’s first-ever “Hookah Bar” has opened – Pyramids Club, at 153 SW 153rd, just west of the E.B. Foote Winery – a membership-only “club” where members can smoke from communal “Hookah” water pipes.

The fact that it’s a private club is why smoking is allowed there, despite the state’s ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. But it’s only Hookah smoking, according to owner Shadi’ – no drugs or alcohol are allowed, members must be at least 18, and strict rules are posted.

Members pay $5 for an annual membership, then order from a menu and share a large, communal water pipe filled with flavored tobacco in a very social, group setting. Current flavors include: Double Apple, Strawberry, Grape, Cherry, Pipe, Guava, Plum, Peach, Coconut, Mint, Lemon, Berry, Banana, Grenadine and Cardamom.

Some snacks, non-alcoholic drinks and games are available, and they also offer free Wi-Fi.

Hookahs are very popular in the Middle East, as well as India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and more recently in the U.S. and Canada. There are around five other Hookah Clubs in the Seattle area, with Pyramids Club being the first one in the Burien area.

Now if you’ve never heard of Hookah, here’s a brief primer, courtesy Wikipedia [1]:

The Hookah was invented in India in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar (1542 – 1605 AD). Following popularity among noblemen, this new device for smoking soon became a status symbol for the Indian aristocracy and gentry.

The jar at the bottom of the hookah is filled with water sufficient to submerge a few centimeters of the body tube, which is sealed tightly to it. Flavored tobacco is placed inside the bowl at the top of the hookah and a burning charcoal is placed on top of the tobacco. Some cultures cover the bowl with perforated tin foil or a metal screen to separate the coal and the tobacco, which minimizes inhalation of coal ash with the smoke. This may also reduce the temperature the tobacco is exposed to, in order to prevent burning the tobacco directly.

When one inhales via the hose, air is pulled through the charcoal and into the bowl holding the tobacco. The hot air, heated by the charcoal evaporates (not burns) the tobacco, thus producing smoke, which is passed down through the body tube that extends into the water in the jar. It bubbles up through the water, losing heat, and fills the top part of the jar, to which the hose is attached. When a smoker inhales from the hose, smoke passes into the lungs, and the change in pressure in the jar pulls more air through the charcoal, continuing the process.

There are no drugs involved, and the flavored tobacco mixes have lower amounts of nicotine than regular cigarettes.

The Washington State smoking ban mandates that any smoking establishment be a private club, ergo a membership is required at Pyramids Club.

A yearlong membership to Pyramids is $5, and the minimum age is 18 years old.

Pyramids Club is open Sunday – Thursday from 6:30pm – 12am, and Friday – Saturday from 3pm – 2am.  Their address is 153 SW 153rd, located just west of E.B. Foote Winery. Phone: 206-588-1019; Email: [email protected] [2] and their website is www.pyramidsclub.net [3].

Here are some pics taken by Scott Schaefer:

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