Shirin Jafari sat at a table across from the bar at the Blue Café, music humming softly in the background of the dimly lit lounge as less than a dozen patrons shared an evening meal and smoked flavored tobacco from their hookahs.
Jafari, owner of the decade-old Persian restaurant and hookah bar in Tarzana, looked around her near-empty business and sighed.
“As you can see, right now we’re not doing that great,” she said. “This is usually the time when hookah bars have a lot of business because everybody is out of school. … We should be booming right now. But with this new law there’s been a 40 percent drop.”
She is referring to California’s recent anti-tobacco bills that were enacted this month restricting adults from purchasing and smoking tobacco until the age of 21. State legislators said the laws will limit smoking at a young age, saving the health care system millions of dollars as a result.
Read the full story in the June 27 issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.