Jan. 7, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A new hookah lounge has opened in Astoria.
Sands of Persia, which its owners tout as being upscale, opened on New Year’s Eve at 25-01 Steinway St. The operators have moved into a 1,850 square foot space that was previously occupied by Matigy, a Hookah lounge that closed in 2020.
The new establishment is owned by Abhi Malhotra, a high-end car collector, and Salil Mehta, an acclaimed chef and owner of three Manhattan-based restaurants – including a Michelin star-awarded Malaysian restaurant called Laut.
The pair are both from India and this is their first business venture together.
Malhotra said they were drawn to the Steinway Street/25th Avenue location since this section of Astoria is a popular destination for hookah users.
“We love the neighborhood and community,” Malhotra said. “There is great energy.”
Sands of Persia offers its patrons more than 30 different flavors for its custom-made hookahs, which are often referred to as shishas.
The establishment also offers a variety of desserts including a yuzu cake with lime gel, meringue and orange mousse; a baklava ice-cream cone with pistachios; a brownie with cream and banana pudding. Savory items include hummus platters served with crudités and pita.
Sands of Persia also offers a range of non-alcoholic beverages including mocktails, Turkish sand coffee and specialty teas.
The venue, which seats around 75 people, has been refurbished and now has a contemporary look with plush lounge chairs and gold fittings. Many of the hookahs on display are next to a pink-colored wall.
New company signage has gone up on the front of the premises and two separate outdoor areas have been constructed which are attached to the building’s structure.
Sands of Persia has regular DJ set performances featuring Arabic and contemporary music.
Opening hours are from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Mondays through Sundays. The operators also offer valet parking for customers.