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Daytona Beach commission voting on closing times for hookah lounges

Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young.
City of Daytona Beach via vido
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young.

Daytona Beach will consider making hookah lounges close at midnight -- or 2 a.m. for those with a permit -- at a City Commission meeting Wednesday night.

Last year, the city moved its bar closings up an hour to 2 a.m., partly to address crime along Seabreeze Boulevard.

But Police Chief Jakari Young says some of those late night bar crowds that caused problems have remained around a few hookah lounges, where patrons smoke flavored tobacco.

As part of an anti-crime effort that includes lighting and a new substation, the chief asked the commission to make the smoking lounges close at midnight or get a permit to close at 2 a.m., like the bars. The permit would require surveillance cameras and security.

And, like the bars, those lounges could stay open until 3 a.m. for New Year’s Eve, July 4th, Labor Day and major events.

Lounge owners say their patrons include professionals and foreign students and that most of the police actions are happening elsewhere and on the street, not in their establishments.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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