A Round Lake father and son duo are working to open what they're calling "Ghost Hookah Lounge" in the village's downtown area.
The village board voted Monday and at their last board meeting to continue with the process of providing a special permit for Carlos Salgado, 41, and his 21-year-old son, Carlos Salgado Jr. The two hope to open their lounge in early October in the Ace Hardware storefront off Railroad Avenue.
Hookah is a water pipe of Indian and Persian origin that is used to smoke flavored tobacco, or "shisha." The elder Salgado said the smoke, which is mostly water vapor, is healthier than smoking a cigar or cigarette.
"People use it much like the way that older people smoke cigars; it's a relaxed type of smoking," he said.
Salgado Jr. said the name of the lounge comes from a trick that involves blowing a ghostlike shape with the puffy white smoke that hookahs create.
"Smoke tricks are part of the fun of going to a hookah lounge. Ghost is one of the tricks I happened to like most," he said.
Mayor Daniel MacGillis said at a July 15 village board meeting that he originally had his reservations about opening a hookah lounge in Round Lake. However, after the Salgados explained their business plan, MacGillis and most of the village board seemed convinced of the benefits.
"It'd be fun and it will bring a lot of business to the village. Hopefully it'll attract the younger crowd and bring some businesses in behind them," village administrator Russell Kraly said.
The idea for the hookah lounge in Round Lake originally came from Salgado Jr., who said he would travel to hookah lounges in Grayslake, Waukegan and Wauconda as a teenager. He said he wanted to bring the same kind of clientele to Round Lake, and his business would be in a good spot to do so because of the nearby Metra station.
"I want this place to be a hang out spot for everyone, I don't want anyone to think that it's specific to any certain clique or group," Salgado Jr. said.
The hookah lounge would be for customers 18 and older and would not serve alcoholic beverages. Salgado said they would more like to focus on creating a different kind of environment than that of a hookah bar.
"The environment's better (than a bar) so you can think. It'll be a good place for younger adults to talk with friends, somewhere they can relax," he said.
Salgado Jr. said the lounge would also offer a place for local bands, hip-hop acts and DJs to perform, providing another draw for the 18- to 30-year-old crowd he and his father are targeting.
Ghost Hookah Lounge will be the third new business to open in the Ace Hardware storefront this year, next to a dance studio and a breakfast restaurant. Anyone interested in more information about the hookah lounge can call Carlos Salgado at (224) 637-4543