Don't think of it as a hookah lounge, think of it as a bar that happens to offer hookah as an add-on experience.

That's the vision owner Batuhan Zadeh had when he decided to move and expand Hookava front and center on First and Arlington downtown, moving over from its other smaller location in Arlington Tower, and adding a bar in the process; a natural evolution of Zadeh's goal of having a bar offering unique drinks, and the traditional shisha offerings that has spawned a long-time following of Hookava die-hards. It's their spot to unwind, smoke, relax, and now, grab a cocktail as well.

Metaphorically, smoking hookah is like driving a car...you can have the experience of driving a 20 year old Yugo, or the experience of driving a Ferrari Testarossa. Hookava leans more on the Ferrari side of the experience, which is why they maintain such a loyal following, and on track to gain even more devotees with the addition of a bar, giving them access to beer crawl and wine walk attendees. Hookava treats customers to flare hookahs...traditional copper Egyptian hookahs created by Khalil Mamoon.

Hookava's drink menu includes vodka, rum, gin, tequila and whiskey creations. Yummy concoctions include Everything's Peachy, a mix of Peach Chiroc, fresh lemon and Sprite, and the Aruba Smash, Captain Morgan, orange juice, fresh lime and grenadine. Hookava's full bar will also offer coffee and teas.

Hookava also acquired a cabaret license, allowing them to offer up events like weekly comedy nights on Wednesdays, and local DJs like Mo Ayala from Wild 102.9 will stop by and perform. Thanks to a very supportive landlord, the move was incredibly painless compared to the usual process of opening a bar.

Hookava has been downtown 13 years, with Zadeh owning it the past four years. Come down July 1 and experience the next evolutionary step for this downtown favorite. The space looks amazing. Check out the gallery below. Click any image to enlarge and swipe or click through.