CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Though the sign for K-otic still is on top of the old Prince Street Lounge, at Seventh and Prince streets in Clovis, the new renters are advertising a hookah lounge they plan on opening in early February.
By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico
For years, the expansive building at Prince and Seventh streets known as the Prince Street Lounge served a veteran crowd of alcohol-imbibing customers. When it closed, local entrepreneurs opened K-otic, which catered to teens.
The new proprietors are aiming for something in between as far as age.
Building renters Frederick and Amanda Martin are aiming to open the “Hookah Hookah Lounge” at the beginning of February.
The hookah, originally from India, is a water pipe used for smoking tobacco. The Martins, who emphasize that marijuana should not be used in hookahs, say customers will be prohibited from touching the pipes themselves and will be limited to smoking the varieties of flavored tobacco offered by the business.
“We’re trying to convert it into a hookah lounge with live entertainment, meaning that we’re trying to get jazz musicians, comedians, R&B performers — things like that,” said Frederick Martin, who also owns The Smoke Shop and Ragz 2 Richez in Clovis. “Nothing uproarious. We want it to be more like a coffee shop with a (wi-fi) hot spot where you could do your homework or whatever on your laptop.”
Amanda Martin added that events like poetry readings could be part of the ensemble of entertainment when the Hookah Hookah Lounge opens.
Frederick Martin said customers will have to be 18 years old to enter the premises. The previous business, K-otic, had teens from 15 to 19 as its target audience.
No alcoholic beverages will be served, Frederick Martin said.
The husband-and-wife team said they’re hoping that college students and Cannon Air Force Base personnel will be attracted to their business.
“Basically, I’m catering to my college kids and my Cannon people, to kind of give them something different,” Frederick Martin said. “When they leave their hometowns, where there was stuff they were used to doing, they’ll be able to do the same thing here.”
Chase Gentry, executive director of the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation, said he isn’t surprised to see local entrepreneurs try to take advantage of the influx of Cannon personnel into the city. From what he’s seen of the demographic of people coming into the base, Gentry said, there are more young, newly enlisted Airmen than when Cannon housed the F-16 wing.