ALLSTON, Mass. – Just steps away from Boston University’s campus, hookah bar Nile Lounge is the newest hot-spot for Boston’s 250,000 college students.
Located just over the Allston-Boston border at 70 Brighton Ave., Nile Lounge is a hip, fun, and low-key destination for people of all ages. As the weather gets colder, students are eager to find indoor destinations which cater to thier needs and budgets. Nile Lounge is definately that place, where anyone can be entertained for hours without spending money, and still bond with friends. Contrasted to typical nights out at bars, restaurants, and clubs, it is amazing that hookah lounges did not become popular earlier.
Having heard of Nile Lounge through friends, I decided to try it with a group of friends on a Thursday night. We arrived at 10 p.m., and were immediately greeted by a cheerful waitress named Stephania. She led us to a comfortable couch in the corner of the space, where we ordered mango tobacco and a hookah, green teas, and some small appetizers. The tea was refreshing and flavorful, and the food – especially the fried Oreos – was delicious.
The hookahs were extremely clean and the tobacco tasted strongly of mango, a plus for anyone who is not a smoker. Waitresses continually refreshed the coals in our hookahs and refilled our tea. There was festive Arabic music playing, and the lights were dim, creating a sultry mood throughout the crowded space.
“I really enjoyed the intimate setting,” said Olga Panagopoulos, a sophomore at Suffolk University. “The atmosphere really catered to bonding with my friends and meeting new people.”
A custom originating in the Middle East, hookah or “shisha” smoking is growing in popularity as a way to relax. Hookah smoke is generally less addictive and less toxic than cigarette smoking, although prolonged usage can be detrimental health-wise.
Abir Shehod, also a sophomore at Suffolk University, was thrilled that we enjoyed smoking hookah. “As a Muslim, I’ve always been accustomed to smoking shisha,” she said. “I’m really happy that my friends enjoyed experiencing part of my culture.”
From the moment we arrived at 10 p.m. to the time the lounge closed at 1 a.m., the room was packed. Patrons ranged from groups of rowdy frat-boys to couples on dates, to older Middle-Eastern men reading the newspaper. Despite the mix, the majority of people at Nile Lounge were college students. It is clear that, like Mantra and 711 Boylston before it, Nile Lounge is the place to be for college students in Boston.
For more information on Nile Lounge, please visit their reviews on Yelp.