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New hookah lounge applying for beer license

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) -

One item moving forward on the commission's agenda Thursday night-a beer license for a new bar in town, but its specialty isn't drinks.

"Lit Hookah Bar" in downtown Johnson City has only been open for a month, but owners say they already have about 200 people coming in each weekend night. It's the only place of its kind in the tri-cities.

The owners said they're sticking to applying for a beer license rather than liquor to keep people safe around the hookahs and the hot coals. 

The lounge allows anyone 18 and over but according to Tennessee law, there's no smoking in places where people are under 21--unless it's a private place.

"The only way we can make it 18 and up and serve alcohol and smoke inside is to make it a private club which we did and we regulate that. If you don't have a membership, if you don't have an ID, if you don't meet our criteria you're not getting in the door, you're not smoking here," Owner Miguel Sanchez said.

He said Lit already has about 1,000 members in just the one moth it's been open.

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