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Hookah lounge uses different game plan to attract customers | News

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Hookah lounge uses different game plan to attract customers

(WBIR-Cumberland Gap) A new business in historic Cumberland Gap is drawing more college students into town.

GameDay Hookah opened in September.

Traditionally, hookah lounges have more of an Arab feel; but Knoxville's Anthony Cespedes had a different game plan.

He decided to make his into a sports lounge.

"One of my friends in Knoxville... he loved the idea of sports. He has gone to other hookah lounges and seen the more traditional ones, like the ones in Knoxville. He said, 'I think that might be hit. Try it. Let's see how it works,'" Cespedes explained.

For advertising his business, Cespedes relies on social media and word of mouth.

"A lot of the people up here are like me, they didn't understand what a hookah was or what you smoke in it or how it's used," said Cespedes' wife, Rebecca Cespedes.

Hookah is a device used for smoking flavored tobacco.

GameDay Hookah has become a popular social spot for college kids in the area, especially those under 21-years-old. Students use the lounge for studying, or watching sports.

"The majority of our guest are college students. A lot of them from Lincoln Memorial University. We also do have some from Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College and Walter State Community College," Cespedes said.

Cespedes is a student himself at the University of Tennessee. He plans to expand GameDay Hookah to Chattanooga and Knoxville.

"We're starting off in Cumberland Gap because for us it's more affordable. Rent here is cheaper than it would be around Knoxville," he said.

GameDay Hookah is open Friday through Sunday.

More information can be found on GameDay Hookah's website.


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