(Part 1) How we opened and… closed the modern Egypt concept of hookah lounge in Russia, St. Petersburg at 2015
The story for our Spring 2023 contest of #LoungeFAIL
In 2014 me and my former partner (from Nargilia lounges) Boris travelled to Egypt to organize for the very first time Hookah Battle championship in Cairo
In one day the news about the first international hookah competition in Egypt became viral and Egypt ministry of health himself cancelled our event (if you would like me to post the full story about it, let me know in comments)
The good side of this trip was next: we get accounted with Amro Elfiky
– the founder of modern style chain of hookah lounges “WEL3A”, here’s the nice pic with us, Amro and Jake Jacobson (been a team member of Starbuzz brand before, and currently organize HEW expo with Hookah John)
We’ve been really impressed about the style of Wel3a, it looks pretty different than any other typical lounge there.
I really enjoyed this art with Charlie Chaplin and Salvador Dali painted over old newspapers
Nice modern looking special offers and call to actions:
And the nice brand naming: “Wel3a!” from the arabic language means:
“Bring me more coals!”
Also need to say that I’ve been really impressed about plastic disposable hoses (in 2014 we have used in our russian lounges mostly Mya hoses) and fresh Egypt made Nakhla tobacco (which tastes pretty better than one which been imported to Russia).
Maybe there is nothing special about it in 2023 (by the way have a look at our last show of best hookah lounge design award), but in 2014 it was something really fresh and progressive.
It was interesting to see that hookah lovers in the Arabic world order 1 shisha per 1 person (and the price is cheap), while in Russia usually people order a 1 shisha for a 2-4 persons company and share it.
We had expirience of opening a different types of hookah lounges in our city, and we have started to think:
What if we will open a hookah lounge in Russia where will be a binding rule:
Cheap price, but 1 person = 1 shisha
We decided to convice Amro to give us the right open Wel3a brand concept in Russia.
To be continued
P.S. Go to my Hookah Battle account page here and find the button “subscribe” if you want to get an email notification when I will publish the final second part of this story
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