Des Moines has another first, its first Hookah bar. The Chicha Shack has replaced the Java Lava coffee shop, in the Drake Neighborhood. The Des Moines Shack will have a lounge area, and many of the ammenities of the coffee shop it replaced, mainly wireless internet, teas, coffee, etc. It will not have the Bar & Grill that the Ames location has, both places are under the same ownership.
Hookah smoking originated in India and has spread to be a very prominent fixture in the Middle East. In the Hookah, the smoke is filtered through the water in the base, which is suppose to provide a more pure smoke vs. a traditional filter in a cigarette. Three people generally smoke from the same Hookah, usually with a tabacco that is flavored.
I actually have developed an allergy to smoke, so I will not be frequenting this establishment any time soon. That and I don’t condone smoking as it has numerous harmful effects, and studies have shown smoking through a water filter does not limit those effects. But, I think it is great that part of the Arab culture has made its way to Des Moines and I wish them well. It will be interesting to see how our city embraces this form of public expression. The Chicha Shack is situated in the right spot in town, next to Drake University, where a majority of the students come from other states or countries.
Thanks to Studio DC for the photo.