PHOTOS: DIANI BARUT
Tuesday’s grand opening of UCF’s newest local hookah lounge, LIT, drew back the curtains to a different kind of hookah experience. “We just wanted to open up a chill place for people to smoke hookah,” Says Keith Mawardi, co owner of the new Lit Hookah Lounge located on the corner of University and Alafaya.
Walking through the front doors of LIT hookah lounge, snugly located amongst some of the areas hottest college bars, is like entering a Middle Eastern style luxurious smoke den. Pillow strewn couches line the entire length of the walls, and the rest of the floor is speckled with giant beanbags and hookah tables. The dimly lit room smells like tropical fruit and sweet tobacco.
Brothers Keith, Dan and Romi Mawardi, co-owners of Scoop and Deko, decided to forgo opening another college nightclub in favor of a different style of mellow lounge because, as Keith says, “Hookah is becoming really big. We wanted to branch out, provide something for different groups of people.”
Atmosphere aside, the tobacco flavors LIT offers are the finest and most diverse of any hookah lounge in the area. Keith Mawardi says, “We have premium tobacco and premium coals, so when you smoke it you can taste the difference.”
In addition to the thirty unique flavors such as sweet red melon and Jack and Coke, LIT also provides a choice in hookah bases. Instead of sticking to the traditional water base, milk and wine bases are offered as well.
“Milk gives the smoke a different texture and wine has a great taste,” says Keith.
But hookah isn’t the only thing providing good tastes in LIT. The new hookah lounge will be offering cotton candy, popcorn and soft drinks to accompany the night’s casual smoke. The V.I.P room is available for private birthday parties, equipped with its own T.V’s and surround sound, making it a truly exclusive gathering. For bigger parties, the option to rent out the entire lounge is available for a nights worth of top-of-the-line hookah in a luxuriously chill atmosphere.
Special deals include a flat rate for all you can smoke hookahs any flavor and a special hookah hour from 4-6 p.m. with half off prices. The Mawardi brothers also plan to have a routine movie night providing a break from the usual music. In addition, LIT will introduce study hours during college finals where students can catch a break from the typical study atmosphere and get work done while enjoying some of Orlando’s finest hookah.
Open long hours; 11-4 a.m. LIT is the hottest new hookah lounge, offering a traditional Middle Eastern atmosphere and a variety of flavors that go unmatched anywhere else around.
To see a slideshow of pictures, go to the next page.