Better than Toronto'ing



March 10, 2009

Montreal Needs Better Shisha Lounges

Is it just me or is every shisha/hookah lounge in Montreal a ghetto? What happened to smoking in a respectable atmosphere, such as Stogies or Whiskey Cafe? I don’t know about everyone else, but the majority of the lounges in Montreal are a dump in my opinion. Honestly now, the place I last went to (which will go unnamed for now) had the stench of body odor in the air. Surely this isn’t the establishment”s fault, but there should be some ventilation going on in there. Another place I once went to on Decarie Blvd. looked like a broken down fast food restaurant that basically served tobacco. The worst place I’ve been to had holes in the walls with a small couch trying to hide them. Clever. Bravo.

The nicest lounge I’ve been to that definitely had some class was called Suite 3930 on St-Laurent boulevard. It was nicely decorated, the staff was friendly and the music wasn’t loud at all. You could actually sustain a conversation with a friend without having to shout in each others ears. The prices were decent too, and the shisha itself was the best I’ve had in Montreal (besides my creations…). The owner eventually made his business private and only approved certain guests to come in (basically a private shisha lounge, a first of its kind). Sadly, this place literally disappeared the following day when I tried to go for a second round of smoking after being 6 months or so open. Their phone lines were cut off, doors bolted shut, curtains over the windows… it was all tell-tale signs of abandonment. I suspect the owners fled the country for whatever reason(s), most likely avoiding taxes or they might not have had the appropriate smoking licenses in place to run such a joint.

For the longest time, a friend of mine and I discussed the possibility of opening up our own shisha lounge for kicks. We’d design the place to be comfortable, modern and overall be fresh. Comfortable couches and chairs would be the norm (ones with cushion at that) proper ventilation all around to keep the air circulated & clean, have a dress code in effect, and definitely serve the finest tobacco out there: Al Fakher of course. Montreal wouldn’t know what’s coming to them, and we’d seriously have a nice niche going, serving more mature and higher-end clientèle. Of course, this dream got shattered once we found out that we couldn’t get a smoking permit anymore. Too bad.

About the Author

Saro enjoys programming and drinking... most of the time done together. If you see something broken on the site, now you know why.