Smoke Along the Water

DATE NIGHT: Off the Hookah is a one-stop date night destination. Tucked away from the nearby, heavily-trafficked Shockoe Slip streets, the canal-front oasis presents a night of dinner and dancing with tastes, sounds, and sights to indulge a breadth of hankerings.

Richly decorated in Egyptian style, the club draws considerable numbers.
Weekend patrons can work off their meals upstairs, where they’ll find the dance floor, DJs, go-go dancers behind the bar, luxurious private lounge areas, and TVs displaying the scene within. photos by Chris Owens

Catering to the revelers, flair bartenders deliver lively bottle-juggling performances along with a vast selection of wines, beers, sakes and other assorted spirits.

For those who prefer their indulgences inhaled, Off the Hookah offers an array of flavored tobaccos-from bubble gum to cappuccino-to puff through the vessels that lend their name to the establishment, which joined two like-named Florida predecessors when Owner Hani Atallah opened it in December.

Its extensive menu, featuring Mediterranean dishes prepared by veteran Chef Ed Blase, is a worthy draw for diners. Kibbe, falafel, and an assortment of kebobs are among the savory items available for dinner; and to put the period on the end of the prandial sentence, the venue’s kitchen offers chocolate strawberry cream pie tart, a chocolate pyramid, a weekly mousse, and fried cheesecake topped with a different sauce each week.

Patrons craving fare from a bit further east may favor the impressive sushi selection. Sushi Chef Matt Carozza credits weekly sushi specials, such as all-you-can-eat Tuesdays and half-off Thursdays, with attracting a number of faithful regulars.

The abundance of menu options is matched by ample seating outside along the canal, on the side patio, and in the stunning atmosphere of the ground floor dining area.

The decor, which hints at a theme that may best be described as Indonesian, provides a peaceful environment that is enhanced by dim lighting, beautifully hand-painted walls, polished stone mosaics, and a larger-than-life golden Buddha that sits serenely against the back wall.

On Tuesdays through Thursdays, musicians entertain diners with acoustical sets. After dinner hours, DJs crank it up for the rest of the night.

Weekend patrons can work off their meals upstairs, where they’ll find the dance floor, DJs, go-go dancers behind the bar, luxurious private lounge areas, and TVs displaying the scene within. “The TVs are only for viewing the live action in the club,” explains Bar Manager Roland West.

Richly decorated in Egyptian style, the club draws considerable numbers. Kayla Kosiewicz, a server who experiences the business crowds at lunchtime as well as the weeknight diners and weekend revelers, notes, “It’s crazy. On Saturday nights, it’s packed!”

CategoriesDrink Local, General, PlayTagged
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