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The Bleu Lounge on Texas Boulevard had just gotten its start in August and had begun to build up its base of regulars when the calamity that befell business and communities all over fell upon them, too.

Facing shutdown, Benjamin Fields Jr., owner, and Meshandale Tucker, "hookah honey" and manager, used the downtime to regroup, clean up and get ready for opening.

"It was a bad thing, getting shut down," said Tucker. "But we sanitized, organized and prepared for reopening. It also gave us the time to finish putting up our web site, bleuloungetxk.com."

For those wondering, the Bleu Lounge is a hookah lounge. A hookah is a type of smoking receptacle, a device of the sort the caterpillar was using in Alice in Wonderland.

"To use a hookah, you use shisha, which is a tobacco and molasses mix," she said. "But hookah smoke, which is the main product of the hookah, is in a wide variety of flavors. That is the main attraction for using a hookah, the release of flavors."

Another aspect of hookah use is a decidedly smoke free smoking area.

"The hookah releases the flavor of choice into your mouth, but does not release general smoke into the area where you are at," she said. "You can have a room full of hookah smokers and not smell anything."

Tucker admits she occasionally uses a hookah herself. In fact, one of her favorite flavors is a creation of her own.

"It is a tropical mix I call Mikii Magik," she said.

Another appeal of the hookah pass-time are hookahs themselves.

"They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and a variety of looks," she said. "Many like their hookahs sleek and sexy."

As for the Bleu Lounge itself, Tucker describes its look as "homey and comfortable" in atmosphere, just "relaxed and chilled."

They will reopen on June 5, which is their traditional Thursday Karaoke night.

"We also feature live music, local dee jays and are a favorite meeting room for local cigar clubs," she said.

The Bleu Lounge is located at 2321 Texas Blvd.

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