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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110442
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I have a similar issue.

Customer Question

Hi I have a similar issue.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 7 months ago.


Similar to what? Can you explain?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Dear Zoey,I thought I responded directly to the lawyer who took another case regarding the issue with mix use of alcohol and hookah.
Well, Thank you in advance for taking time of your busy schedule to address my inquiry.I’m currently in process of leasing a retail space located at: 206 S. Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Premises will be used for a high-end ambient Cocktail Lounge/ Hookah Lounge or Organic Hookah Lounge «also considering as non tobacco, which ever will fit requirements for Hookah Lounge with Liquor License. Ground Retail space located in the hotel and belong to Hotel. Hotel has a favorable 41 type liquor license. CUP is approved for lounge bar. They are willing to give me an opportunity to use their liquor license. After visiting City of LA DBS department and getting certificate of occupancy and plans. The said everything looks good and places is currently permitted. However, they were not be able to provide me any further information regarding serving hookah with alcohol.However, owner made few researches and found out that is illegal to serve alcohol with hookah.
Going further, I made an extensive research on my site as well. In Los Angeles we have at least 20 hookah places where they serve alcohol, food and hookah respectively. However, most of them don't have a CUP.
After my aggressive research I found Hotel Maya which operated by Hilton corporation. Maya Hookah Lounge: Very supportive and similar to my case. Located in Double Tree Hotel by Hilton (place belong to Double tree Hotel, apparently they leased it from them). They have Full Bar and Primary Hookahs. Address:*****Long Beach, CA 90802, Yelp Page: started as Hookah Catering Company. Same as my current business. I do have State and city Tobacco License and Permits to sell and serve tobacco products. Maybe, it might be helpful for us? I was also thinking to open a cocktail bar and serve Hookahs provided by my catering company Hookah Fly. Basically, two separate business might be involved : My Catering company will consider as outsourced company for cocktail lounge. For your reference, we provide outsourcing Hookah Services in few Bars in Los Angeles. I was using my license to serve hookahs. You can see here:
I’m pretty sure such a big corporation as Hilton will not allowed to operate illegally. Two years ago I used to work for Hilton corporation at LAX, so I had a chance to travel to Maya Hotel in Long Beach. I was surprise when front desk officially introduce to their Hookah Lounge.
Later, I've contact the owner of Maya Hookah Lounge. He is officially leasing a space from Hilton Maya Hotel to serve Hookahs. I asked him how he managed that? How he got licensed? He said it's pretty easy: Since his place (Hotel Maya) has an approved CUP for lounge bar and Full Liquor license. He applied for "Extra Amenity Service Permit" which was for a hookah. And Tobacco seller's permit.To finalize this, I need somehow relax the owner of the Hotel and make sure we are on the safe side. After reviewing few successfully operated Cocktail lounges/Hookah bars such as:
They all serving hookahs with full liquor.1) Lavoo Lounge (8108 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048),
2) Star Hookah Lounge (6430 Hollywood Blvd,Los Angeles, CA 90028)
3) Cafe O Hookah Lounge (270 E Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502)I came to the point where I shouldn’t have any issues with a law.I would like to kindly ask for your assistance to investigate this process.I will greatly appreciate your taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me and help with further process.Thank you!
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 7 months ago.

I am sorry for the delay. I am on the east coast and had turned off the computer for the night by the time you replied.

This is somewhat out of my ballpark, and I didn't know that there was another lawyer who had worked on this issue already and who you were trying to reach.

I will opt out at this time and leave this for him or her.

Good luck with this

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Actually, LA county has ordinances that forbid hookah, vapors or any other type of smoking in a location where food and alcohol are being served. So this is going to be an issue, even though there is a location in Long Beach, he has an accessory license for the hookah, whereas the hotel has the alcohol license. Technically the premises are two separate entities in the same business building.
So what these lounges are doing is setting up a restaurant/bar and they set up a separate business (sometimes with even a separate entrance as well) for the hookah lounge as an accessory, which is what happened in the Long Beach business.
You would need a local attorney there in LA County to do this right, but it is possible to do so within the LA County ordinance.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello. Thank you very much for your respond. I understand that LA county doesn't allow serving alcohol/food with hookah. Since Long Beach hookah lounge within Hotel Maya being able to move around with that. I believe I can do that too. Because, my case is very similar/ or same to Long Beach place. My hotel has an alcohol license for multiple entities (I believe 3 or 4 different address has approved licensed and CUP).The place I'm going to lease has an approved CUP for Lounge Bar. Since, the owner read an article regarding law which prohibits alcohol and hookah. He became to worry about it.He is asking a legal paper or article that saying its a possibility to serve hookah with alcohol. Like other does. Basically, I need to calm him down in order to sign a lease and start working on my paperwork, including accessory permit/extra amenity service permit. Any ideas?My second concern was to serve non-tobacco hookah with zero nicotine and tars? It has the same issue as real hookah? Or I can move around with that. For instance in Russia, I know from experience they got the same law "no smoking in public places", however they found a way to serve hookahs in public areas by providing non-tobacco/zero nicotine hookahs. Which is allowed.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Just because something is legal in Long Beach does not mean you can make it legal or make it work in some other city though. You have to find a work around.
It does not matter whether what you served has no nicotine or tar, the law in LA and CA in general even bans vapors without nicotine or tar. The law is quite strict and the laws in LA are worse than Russia, because unlike in Russia where a well placed ruble would stop enforcement, LA and CA in general is so broke they will suck the last dime out of you in fines.
The only way in LA to do this is going to be to separate the premises with a separate entrance I am afraid.

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