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Thanks to the hookah

Freestyler Pierson (left) and DJs want to get Fallbrook rockin’ and smokin’ at the Ali Baba hookah lounge.
Freestyler Pierson (left) and DJs want to get Fallbrook rockin’ and smokin’ at the Ali Baba hookah lounge.

The Red Eye Saloon in Fallbrook followed the trend of many local nightspots when it stopped hiring live bands two months ago. But right next door, a new kind of music venue has sprung up, thanks to the hookah.

Hookah lounges, where customers smoke flavored tobacco from a waterpipe, thrive throughout the county. The swankier lounges have a full bar and DJs.

Place

Ali Baba Hookah Lounge

1452 S. Mission Road, Fallbrook

Ali Baba smoke shop in Fallbrook has created a new business model that throws in DJs, rappers, and live bands for an all-ages-venue-meets-hookah-bar experience.

“I don’t know anybody else doing it around here,” says Quinn Schlekewey, who oversees the entertainment at Ali Baba.

He got the idea from a hookah bar in Temecula.

“Before I was an employee here I used to go to Starbuzz. They did good [business] with live acts and DJs, but they had to disband the entertainment when people started breaking the rules. That is why we run such a tight ship. Everyone has to be 18 with an ID, no alcohol, and no fighting. Starbuzz had a lot of fights. I have had to kick out people who didn’t follow the rules.”

Schlekewey plays dubstep and drum-and-bass when he spins as DJ Deltadestruct. He is looking for live bands and hip-hop artists to play Ali Baba. “So far we booked a reggae band and these rappers from Fallbrook called Drunk Beat Records. We want this to be an entertainment mecca.”

He says Ali Baba’s weekend shows, which started in April, draw equally from Temecula and from greater Fallbrook. “We usually get from 20 to 100 people.”

He says he readily complies if the neighbors or a sheriff deputy says the music is too loud. “We always try and keep it real low after midnight.... There is a hotel across the street.”

Past Event

Pierson

Schlekewey says there are some hookah-bar misconceptions. “The first generation of hookahs used hash and weed. That’s how it got a bad rap.” But he tells the Reader there is nothing in Ali Baba’s hookahs except sweetened tobacco, with names such as Sex on the Beach or Strawberry Margarita. “It doesn’t have the stink of cigarettes.”

Schlekewey says there is a $5 cover on show nights and an additional $10 to $14 for the smoke. “If you don’t want to smoke, you just pay the cover.”

Hip-hop freestyler Pierson appears at Ali Baba on November 14.

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Freestyler Pierson (left) and DJs want to get Fallbrook rockin’ and smokin’ at the Ali Baba hookah lounge.
Freestyler Pierson (left) and DJs want to get Fallbrook rockin’ and smokin’ at the Ali Baba hookah lounge.

The Red Eye Saloon in Fallbrook followed the trend of many local nightspots when it stopped hiring live bands two months ago. But right next door, a new kind of music venue has sprung up, thanks to the hookah.

Hookah lounges, where customers smoke flavored tobacco from a waterpipe, thrive throughout the county. The swankier lounges have a full bar and DJs.

Place

Ali Baba Hookah Lounge

1452 S. Mission Road, Fallbrook

Ali Baba smoke shop in Fallbrook has created a new business model that throws in DJs, rappers, and live bands for an all-ages-venue-meets-hookah-bar experience.

“I don’t know anybody else doing it around here,” says Quinn Schlekewey, who oversees the entertainment at Ali Baba.

He got the idea from a hookah bar in Temecula.

“Before I was an employee here I used to go to Starbuzz. They did good [business] with live acts and DJs, but they had to disband the entertainment when people started breaking the rules. That is why we run such a tight ship. Everyone has to be 18 with an ID, no alcohol, and no fighting. Starbuzz had a lot of fights. I have had to kick out people who didn’t follow the rules.”

Schlekewey plays dubstep and drum-and-bass when he spins as DJ Deltadestruct. He is looking for live bands and hip-hop artists to play Ali Baba. “So far we booked a reggae band and these rappers from Fallbrook called Drunk Beat Records. We want this to be an entertainment mecca.”

He says Ali Baba’s weekend shows, which started in April, draw equally from Temecula and from greater Fallbrook. “We usually get from 20 to 100 people.”

He says he readily complies if the neighbors or a sheriff deputy says the music is too loud. “We always try and keep it real low after midnight.... There is a hotel across the street.”

Past Event

Pierson

Schlekewey says there are some hookah-bar misconceptions. “The first generation of hookahs used hash and weed. That’s how it got a bad rap.” But he tells the Reader there is nothing in Ali Baba’s hookahs except sweetened tobacco, with names such as Sex on the Beach or Strawberry Margarita. “It doesn’t have the stink of cigarettes.”

Schlekewey says there is a $5 cover on show nights and an additional $10 to $14 for the smoke. “If you don’t want to smoke, you just pay the cover.”

Hip-hop freestyler Pierson appears at Ali Baba on November 14.

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