Saad AbuBakr, a senior computer science major who is from the Middle East, uses hookah as a way to socialize. Photo Provided
Maadi Grill adds hookah to menu
The little part of Egypt in Muncie just added a new addition to bring more authenticity to its menu.
Maadi Grill, an Egyptian Restaurant located on White River Blvd., had its grand opening of its shisha garden on Saturday.
The owner, Shafik Joseph, opened the grill in an effort to bring what he loved about Egypt to Muncie and the addition of a hookah patio has furthered that effort.
“Hookah is a huge part of the culture in Egypt,” Joseph said. “They close streets and set tables all the way down the street for people to smoke hookahs.”
He has thought about having a hookah lounge in his restaurant, but he found it was difficult to do in Muncie because of county ordnance 2006-004 A that prohibits smoking indoors.
After talking to the health department and finding out about the rules Joseph decided to give it a try, but with an added twist.
“I don’t like smoking the tobacco so I have tobacco free alternatives,” he said. “It’s similar to the vape that you see people using, but its made specifically for the hookahs they’ve got gels and stone and we have both of them here.”
The restaurant also has traditional tobaccos from Egypt for customers who would rather smoke that. Overall, Joseph thought the grand opening of the shisha garden this past weekend was great success.
“Everybody enjoyed it," he said. "The belly dancer was great. Everybody loved that, it was a good time. I hope people come here and experience a little bit of Egypt.”
Miela Lampkins, a senior art major and member of the Ball State Belly Dance club, belly-danced at the event while customers smoked hookah.
"This is my first restaurant gig ever, especially solo cause I usually dance with the Ball State Belly Dance club,” she said. “The set up is really nice, its very inviting and a nice atmosphere just to get everyone.”
Eric Kuznar, a graduate student at Ball State and Mallory Bruner, a Ball State Alumni, both attended the grand opening of the shisha garden because they said that they like to try new things.
“It’s definitely something for people who want to experience something new and to come out and try,” Kuznar said.
Both of them previously visited Maadi Grill in the past and once they heard about the hookah garden, they decided to return.
“The food is really good so that kept us coming back and we have [smoked] hookah a few times so we came and tried it,” said Bruner.
Saad AbuBakr, a senior computer science major who is from the Middle East, uses hookah as a way to socialize.
“Usually people gather and usual smoke to start talking, it’s kind of like a social gathering,” He said. “It’s mostly putting people together, chilling and relaxing.”