Hookah bar, neighbors at odds over late-night noise
Posted July 19, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Residents of a neighborhood that abuts Raleigh's popular Glenwood South entertainment district blame the late hours of a hookah bar for the early morning ruckus they say disrupts their sleep.
Philip Poe says people park in front of the homes at all hours of the night and, when the bars close at 2:30 a.m., they make their way to the Sahara Hookah Cafe on the corner of West Peace Street and North Boylan Avenue. The Sahara, which does not serve alcohol, stays open later – until 4 a.m. – and that is a draw for late-night revelers.
"We find a lot of trash in the mornings, and when you're really right around the hookah bar itself, there is a lot of activity," Poe said.
Sahara owner Naser Shamma says the problem isn't his patrons or his hours, but people coming back from Glenwood South. "All those people parking here come back drunk to their car," he said.
Raleigh police have fielded more than 30 911 calls to the area so far this calendar year. Shamma said none of the calls was linked to the hookah bar.
"I have no problem at all in my place," he said.
Poe doesn't see it that way.
"We're really concerned we could have an ugly event if this doesn't get under control," he said.
He and his neighbors have asked the city to consider requiring a permit for parking along their streets, so that police could issue tickets more freely. The Law and Public Safety Committee of the Raleigh City Council is considering that option.