Everett hookah bar ordered to halt operations, pay fine

EVERETT — A downtown Everett hookah bar has been ordered to halt operations and pay $89,100 for violating state indoor-smoking laws.

The Hideout Hookah Lounge, part of the Wetmore Cafe at 2701 Wetmore Ave., is believed to be Snohomish County’s first hookah bar, according to county health officials.

It might also be the last.

The Snohomish Health District in 2012 filed a civil lawsuit against the bar’s owners after a series of violations going back about a year, district spokeswoman Kristin Kinnamon said Monday. It is generally against state law to smoke tobacco products inside businesses.

A Snohomish County Superior Court judge ruled in the health district’s favor on Feb. 18. The ruling wasn’t filed with the clerk’s office until last week.

The bar’s owners didn’t return a request for comment Monday. The bar’s storefront appeared empty, with no obvious signs advertising the business.

The Hideout brought in roughly $180,000 in business in 2012, according to court papers.

A hookah is a large glass pipe for smoking flavored tobacco. Smoking a hookah is considered a social activity in the Middle East. In recent years, the practice has gained popularity in the U.S., especially among young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials say hookah use carries similar risks to smoking cigarettes.

Hookah bars are illegal under state law, Department of Health spokesman Tim Church said Monday.

Enforcement falls at the county level, he said. Some counties are more aggressive than others.

The bars are more common in urban areas, Church said.

The Hideout Hookah Lounge was a sort of nightclub that also sold tobacco products and non-alcoholic beverages, court papers show. No minors were allowed. The legal smoking age in Washington is 18.

About 500 to 1,000 patrons were issued membership cards. The owners told the court that bar staff were volunteers and therefore not subject to state laws that require protecting employees from secondhand smoke.

Neighbors, including a local church housed in the same building, complained about the smoke, court papers show.

Church staff said their sanctuary, bathrooms and other rooms became smoky, and parishioners and employees who have allergies were suffering.

The bar’s Facebook page appears to have been taken down. Some people posted to social media last week about celebrating the bar’s last night together.

Everett police records show officers wrote at least one informational report regarding alleged tobacco violations at the hookah bar, but police were not actively involved in the health district investigation, spokesman Aaron Snell said Monday.

Washington voters passed the indoor-smoking ban in 2005.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

View Former hookah bar in a larger map

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Freeland massage therapist charged with sex crimes

The judge set bail at $7,500 for the health care provider, who was accused of sexually assaulting two clients last year.

Lynnwood
Suspected DUI crash injures trooper on I-5 north in Lynnwood

WSP spokesperson said two suspected impaired drivers have crashed into a state trooper in the past 24 hours.

John Pederson lifts a flag in the air while himself and other maintenance crew set up flags for Memorial Day at Floral Hills Cemetery on Friday, May 24, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Volunteers place thousands of flags by veterans’ graves in Lynnwood

Ahead of Memorial Day, local veterans ensure fellow military service members are never forgotten.

State Trooper Isaiah Oliver speaks to a BNSF worker at mile marker 31.7 as road closures and evacuations mount in response to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
As wildfires creep west of Cascades, county plans for next Bolt Creek

Wildfires are an increasing concern in Snohomish County. A new project aims to develop a better plan.

Everett High seniors, from left, Avery Thompson, Lanie Thompson, Melissa Rosales-Alfaro and Saron Mulugeta sit together in front of their school on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Everett, Washington. The group have called to question their district’s policy that does not permit graduates to decorate their mortarboards or graduation clothing. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
After student campaign, Everett schools allows custom graduation caps

“It’s a really good first step,” the Everett High School ASB president said. But the students still want relaxed rules for future classes.

People hang up hearts with messages about saving the Clark Park gazebo during a “heart bomb” event hosted by Historic Everett on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Future of historic Clark Park gazebo now in hands of City Council

On June 5, the Everett council is set to decide whether to fund removal of the gazebo. It could be stored elsewhere.

People fill the board room for public comment during a Marysville School Board meeting on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Struggling Marysville schools dropped from insurance pool

In an unprecedented move, the board of the Washington Schools Risk Management Pool voted to drop the district by August.

A cyclist heads along Federal Avenue past a bike route sign near 46th Street SE on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Bike sign project marks lanes, distances for Everett cyclists

Around the city, crews are putting up over 200 signs, geared toward helping bicyclists find their way around.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.