Owned and operated by 19 year old Ali Yeysides, the Tulip Hookah Café has been providing the Langhorne, PA area with a taste of one of the most popular past times of the Middle Eastern world, smoking hookah. Though it has been only open for about nine months, Yeysides’ café has had a lot of success and a lot of pleased customers.
Yeysides, a young former history student at Seton Hall, was born in Turkey and raised in Pennsylvania. He has lived in Langhorne, PA for six years. He says he began smoking hookah only a year ago with close friend, Stas Zharko, a twenty-year-old Business Administration major at Drexel, and now an employee of the Tulip Hookah Café. It was Zharko who introduced him to hookah. The reasons Yeysides gives for opening his café in Langhorne were two things he says he kept hearing while living there, “Damn I wish there was something to do,” and “Damn I wish there was a hookah bar.”
Hookahs, also known as water pipes, are intricately designed smoking instruments. The hookahs cool and filter tobacco smoke through water located at the pipe’s base. Smoke is then inhaled through a hose. The tobacco used for hookahs come in many different flavors like pina colada, grape and mango as well as other combinations.
Lenny Taylor, a Special Education Major at University Maryland named a few of his favorites while sitting down for a smoke session. “Sex on the Beach and Pirates Cove are my favorites, I like the citrusy and berry flavors,” Taylor said.
Concerning the health effects of smoking from a hookah pipe, Yeysides claims that “Smoking hookah is a lot safer then most other ways of smoking. Hookahs are 0 percent tar and .05 percent nicotine compared to 13 percent in a single cigarette.”
The Tulip Hookah Café has many different hookahs. Each one is unique, hand crafted and imported from Egypt according to Yeysides. These unique hookahs and the café’s handcrafted furniture give it the authentic vibe it needs to draw customers.
If you don’t know much about hookahs or Middle Eastern culture the music and social aspect of the cafe may be enough to keep to keep you coming back each week. The music selection is mostly a selection of the electronic genre, ranging from the slow and bass heavy dubstep to the soothing sounds of liquid drum and bass.
“I like it (the music), its awesome!” said Hamza Khalie, an 18 year old student from Pensburry, PA. If techno isn’t your thing, the café hosts a Grateful Dead cover band three times a week and a Beatles night where bands cover the Beatles’ old hits.
The owner of the café believes the most important aspect of his business is the social element it provides. Yeysides describes his café as “The kind of place you come to relax with your friends and leave with new ones.” Yeysides takes time to meet and greet every customer that walks in.
Matt Taylor a sophomore at University of Maryland and a Government Politics major said, “It’s relaxing and social, but it also helps you focus on studying, it helps you calm down.”
The Tulip Hookah Cafe provides pre-packaged snacks for guests including M&Ms, Swedish fish, tasty cakes and peanut chews. There is also a BYOB policy, meaning guests that are 21 and older may bring their own alcohol, provided they have a valid I.D. The hookahs themselves are priced at 18.50 to 23 dollars per hookah. Each hookah has at least four hoses for customers to enjoy with friends.