My Time At The Petra Cafe and Hookah Lounge

Posted: September 6, 2009 in Dive Bar, STL: Tower Grove East
Tags: , ,

In our Grand South Grand neighborhood, not too long ago a hookah bar opened up. I’ve never been to one, so I decided that I really wanted to try this place out. I’ve never smoked a hookah pipe or anything like even. In my younger days, there was a well, shall we say period where I smoked from another type of water pipe, but for different purposes as well.

So, I really didn’t know what to expect from this place. Right as we walked up to the place, all of a sudden a belly dancer shoots out of the doorway in full dance. This was, well, very surprising to say the least. I was wondering how we were going to get inside with this woman plying her trade in front of the door. Eventually she moved and started dancing near the patrons out on the sidewalk patio seating.

After we got inside and sat down, I had to begin taking stock of the place. One because I’d never been there before, and two because I used to go there almost everyday when I was younger. You see, this building used to be the Grand Chinese Cuisine and Chop Suey restaurant. When I lived in this neighborhood before, I literally lived across the street from there. I really couldn’t believe what the place had become! It seemed bigger, and very different. As you can see by the photo, this is no longer a Chinese restaurant! I ordered a PBR, and was a bit shocked to see it come in bottle, but what can you do. (Besides it was only $2!)

I looked at the hookah menu, and was a bit put off by all the really girlie flavors. I ended up choosing original tobacco. Next time in order to get AKV to enjoy it with me, we’ll be picking a different flavor, like mint or something. The pricing on the hookah is this: $10 for a small hookah, or $15 for a large (I think, I got the small.) Three people are allowed to smoke the hookah, there’s a $3 surcharge per person after three. (This includes people NOT smoking the hookah. So plan accordingly if you bring friends that don’t want to enjoy the smoking.)

Here’s my hookah. When she said small she meant it. I was thinking it would be a small pack of tobacco or something like that. I didn’t think the actual hookah would be small, but what did I know? Now on to smoke this up.

This was when I couldn’t really get anything out of the hookah. I was pulling and pulling on this thing as hard as smoke addled lungs would give me, but very little smoke was I getting. Other patrons were puffing out clouds of the sweet and sticky smoke. (The smell of the smoke stuck to me all night out, and all night as I slept. It didn’t leave me until I took a shower the next morning.)

Here we’d fixed the hose and I could get real pulls from the hookah. After getting to this point. I have to say I really enjoyed this. AKV only took about three or four pulls on the hookah, so for the most part it was just me and it. Even though I really enjoyed the hookah, it was not something I’d like to do by myself again. I don’t know how long that pipe would last, but I left before it was done. After I’d pulled on it as much as I did, I was beginning to get nauseous. It was just too much for just one person. So again, plan accordingly with your friends.

I didn’t try any of the food, after all we didn’t get there until after 10pm, and I didn’t indulge in any mixed drinks. I would like to know about both of these items. As seen in the first photo, there is a small cache of liquor, but I didn’t get a good look at what was there.


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