Pax Lounge aims to hook customers with hookah
New bar plans to host music, cultural events
The Pax Lounge on Point Lookout Road in Leonardtown will hold its grand opening Saturday, Aug. 26, bringing a hookah bar, music, dancing and more to Southern Maryland.
Owners Dimple Oberoi and her husband, Jay Faruque, had the idea for the lounge after moving to St. Mary’s County five years ago. The two once owned a hookah bar and cafe in Gaithersburg, Faruque said, then looked to open a similar business close by in the county.
“For the last five years if we had to go smoke hookah, I would go to Virginia when we would visit our in-laws. So, that’s how it was,” Faruque said. “But in the back of our minds, all this time, it was always my wife and me, ‘We should open one here.’”
He said the two moved forward with their idea when they found the right location.
“We’ve been looking, but we just never had the right place,” Faruque said. “Nothing came together until here. It just kind of all came together. The place, it’s by itself. It’s big. It’s a nice backyard and everything.”
The lounge gives customers a local place to smoke hookah, have drinks, listen to music, dance and watch sports on the big-screen TVs.
“People don’t have much to do at night around here. That’s what I’ve noticed,” Faruque said. “They don’t have a place unless you go to D.C. or Virginia, or even Waldorf. You would have to drive at least 45 minutes to just have a spot. That’s what I’m trying to do here.”
A hookah is a multistemmed water pipe used to smoke-flavored tobaccos or herbal flavors, and is typically shared in a group.
“The whole idea of hookah,” Faruque said, “is not for smoke, it’s for socializing.”
“When I grew up in college and everything, this was a way for us to not go to clubs and get in trouble,” Faruque said. “We’ll literally go there for like 30, 45 minutes. Or we might even be there for a couple hours. But we’re just talking, conversation, watching the sports and everything … it’s just more about the social life.”
He said the lounge will have traditional hookahs and electronic hookahs, with the difference being the top of the hookah, where the flavors are packed. He added that each customer who smokes hookah will be given a disposable mouthpiece, and disposable hoses will also be provided.
For drinks, Faruque said the bar will be serving up mostly top-shelf liquors, mixed drinks, wine and beer, along with non-alcoholic refreshments including smoothies, soda and water.
“We can make any drink in this bar, pretty much,” Faruque said. “Any mixed drink that you can think of.”
For music and dance, Faruque said the lounge will hold themed music nights every Wednesday through Sunday, with the lineup subject to change on special occasions. He said Thursdays will be College Night, Fridays will feature Top 40 music hits, Saturdays will be International Night, where they will be playing popular international music, and Sundays will be country and Western or alternative music night.
He said the lounge will also feature cultural, live belly dance performances.
“I do have belly dancers on Wednesdays,” Faruque said. “Something different for St. Mary’s County … It’s more traditional. It’s more cultural dance. It’s going to be more cultural music so people can be involved.”
He said there will be a cover charge on Wednesday nights starting at 10 p.m. and also on special event nights, but customers can get a reduced cover by joining the guest list or making a reservation. He said there will not be a cover charge for women.
Faruque said a group of five customers or less can purchase the “VIP table service” for an evening of special treatment. He said the service includes a table for the group, one free hookah serving, preferred parking, one bottle of champagne or vodka, one jug of orange juice and one jug of cranberry juice.
He said the lounge can also be booked for private parties and events.
In the future, Faruque said he will consider adding a food truck to serve customers and will look at the possibility of expanding the business concept in Southern Maryland.
“The main part of this is getting together, enjoying having a good time with family and friends, have a couple of beers, listen to some music, dance, whatever,” Faruque said. “This is what St. Mary’s County was missing.”
Co-owner and manager Jay Faruque stands by the bar inside The Pax Lounge in Leonardtown. The lounge opens Aug. 26, bringing a hookah bar, music, dancing and more to Southern Maryland.
An example of the type of hookahs that will be featured at the The Pax Lounge for guests to enjoy.