Hookah has a new home

By Gus Bode

The menu of the Strip’s newest cafe carries a simple slogan.

“To drink is human, to drink coffee is divine.”

Cafe Euro owner Kristo Hayat said he hopes the saying becomes Carbondale’s newest catchphrase.


The new establishment, a hookah bar located between Hanger 9 and Styx on Illinois Avenue, is set to hold its grand opening Friday. Hayat said he would give away free donuts, baklava and some Middle Eastern desserts at the event.

He also said he is planning to have authentic belly dancers perform.

Hayat, a native of Jerusalem, said he saw the other coffee shops in the neighborhood, but they weren’t the style he liked.

“People who smoke like to drink a cup of coffee, but there was no smoking there,” Hayat said.

Hookah originates from India and is used in many parts of the world. It is a long water pipe used to smoke tobacco and more than one person can smoke from it at a time.

Usually, the smoke is not inhaled, but is smoked like a cigar instead.

“It’s a good aromatic relaxing tobacco, which goes through a purification system,” Hayat said.


Some tobacco flavors offered at Cafe Euro are cherry, mango, strawberry and two types of apple. Smoking from the hookah costs $7 and it lasts anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours depending on how many people smoke.

The cafe has a colorful exterior paint job and the inside features paintings of small African children by local artist Joshua Shearer. The cafe will change the artwork every few months, Hayat said.

As she finished smoking from a hookah with her friends, Sarah Rivard, a senior from Bourbonnais studying business marketing, said she liked the cafe’s closeness to the SIUC campus.

“It’s really good,” Rivard said. “We smoked two hookahs yesterday and we had some coffee. And today we came back again.”

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