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Downtown neighbors object to hookah bar’s plan to serve alcohol

SALISBURY — Downtown Salisbury could have a new hookah bar if King Tut Cafe and Hookah Lounge gets the nod to set up shop at 5 Easy Street, formerly A Step in Time gift shop.
While a hookah bar — a place where people smoke flavored tobacco from a shared pipe — doesn’t need approval from the city, King Tut owner Hamdy Kishk of Charlotte also wants to serve beer and wine.
That requires a special use permit.
Kishk last week asked the Salisbury Planning Board to recommend that City Council issue a special use permit for 5 Easy Street, which is located on the back, lower level of 118 E. Council St.
Neighbors opposed the request. Robert Crum and Cherie Turner said they were concerned about minors drinking alcohol at King Tut, as well as potential problems for their tenants at 116 E. Council St., Planning Board Chairman Carl Repsher told the Post.
Henry and Karen Alexander, a Salisbury City Council member, own the property at 118 E. Council and 5 Easy Street.
Repsher said he sent the issue to a Planning Board committee for further study, asking committee members to try to find accommodations to satisfy both sides.
An Internet search didn’t turn up any hookah bars currently operating in Salisbury, but Havana Knights had a hookah bar at 401 E. Innes St. in 2011. The business has since closed.
King Tut Cafe and Hookah Lounge has a location in Charlotte.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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