Neighborhood Concerned With Nearby Hookah Lounge


By Alabama News Network

A new Montgomery business is facing some opposition from a near by neighborhood.

The Fuego Hookah Lounge on Atlanta Highway is trying to get its liquor license, but the Somerset homeowner's association doesn't want the business to expand. 
The new hookah lounge has been open for about a month and somerset residents say it's been causing a disturbance. But the owner says he's not doing anything wrong. 
The only thing separating the community from the hookah lounge is a fence and a line of trees. And residents say that's not enough. Attorney Knox Argo is representing the Home owner's association and says the lounge violates a city ordinance by being so close.
"I don't understand that and I hope I get a good answer from the city legal department before we go down there Tuesday. That restriction that was put in the code is to protect the residents from the very thing that we are experiencing in Somerset there now. Which is a lot of noise and irritation to the neighbors," said Knox.
The hookah lounge, where customers can come and smoke flavored tobacco, has applied for a liquor license that comes up in city council Tuesday. The home owner's association wants to stop it from getting the license so the noise doesn't get any louder.
But owner Tohid Rahmani says noise isn't even a problem and the city has completely approved his business.
"If you hear any loud music which you do, you call the police and they come solve the issue. They never called the police because my music was never that loud. I could play that music right now and we go outside and if you hear any music out there you can say anything you want to me," said Rahmani.
Other businesses in the shopping strip say that the new lounge hasn't been causing any problems for them. 
"Because of my job sometimes I'm here at 9, 10, 10:30, even 11 o'clock at night doing paperwork and I'll be honest, I've not even heard a single peep or anything. It's been very quiet. As I said, sometimes I'll drive by and wonder is he even open?" said Johnny D., manager at Looking Good of Alabama.
Rahmani says that being denied a liquor license would really hurt his business, which he hopes to expand with a restaurant next door. 

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