Vents Magazine Spotlight: A Q&A with Paymon Raouf from Paymon’s Lounge in Las Vegas featuring MYA Hookah
VENTS: When did Paymon’s Lounge first open?
Paymon: In 2000, I launched Hookah Lounge, now known as Paymon’s Lounge in Las Vegas, a venue widely accepted to be “America’s First Hookah Lounge.” My early vision combined hookah service with a modern-day Mediterranean food and beverage lounge, and good old American music as a backdrop. It was an instant success.
VENTS: How did you end up being introduced to the MYA brand and MYA Hookah?
Paymon: I met with MYA Partner Hussam Badawi in Las Vegas in 2001 and it was an ideal partnership from the start. I appreciated MYA’s cultural history, recognized the product craftmanship, and immediately started showcasing MYA hookah.
VENTS: What do you like about MYA products?
Paymon: MYA Hookahs are the centerpieces to my lounge operations. I can always count on the quality of the product, knowing MYA Hookahs are elegant workhorses for the lounges. MYA always stands behind their products with great integrity, honesty, and support.
VENTS: Have your lounges won any awards?
Paymon: We have been fortunate to win many awards and continuously evolve to entertain our audience. Throughout the years, my Las Vegas lounge venues have garnered numerous awards, including recognition as Best Lounge in Las Vegas from Where Magazine, Best of Las Vegas (30 times!), Where the Locals Eat, Las Vegas Weekly, and Las Vegas Life Magazine.
VENTS: MYA President and CEO Mahmoud Badawi calls you “one of the most knowledgeable people in the hookah lounge industry,” and says “it’s no surprise Paymon’s beautiful lounges have long been recognized as top hookah destinations in America.” What are your thoughts?
Paymon: Much respect for the wonderful compliment. MYA is always available to offer advice to help us get the most out of their products. They are also very interested in feedback which also helps them to hone their craft. It is a true partnership of two titans in the industry.
VENTS: Where do you see the Hookah Industry heading?
Paymon: I am in the restaurant and lounge every day, and being in Las Vegas – The Entertainment Capital of the World – gives me a unique perspective. I see hookah getting more popular with the younger generation AND with every segment – I think it is growing like a weed as there is more social acceptance. The other night I had a table where the youngest was 23 and the oldest was 80, and they were side-by-side seamlessly enjoying their hookah experience.
VENTS: Where is your lounge located?
VENTS: Is it true you own the web address www.hookahlounge.com too?
Paymon: It is! You can reach me and my lounges through www.hookahlounge.com – I have owned that web address for two decades.