click to enlarge Yvette Tucker
Yvette Tucker
More than a decade after hookah lounges started springing up in college towns and big cities across the land, the capital city, at last, stands at the precipice. The Springfield City Council has before it a proposal to grant a liquor license to The Field Bar and Grill and Hookah Lounge (not that that’s a mouthful or anything), which isn’t yet open but hopes to soon be serving and smoking at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and North Grand Avenue West, where a bar and gambling parlor once operated. Yvette Tucker, the proprietor, says the grand opening is set for Sept. 28. While she’s never run a bar or restaurant, Tucker says she’s a big fan of hookahs, and she landed in Ward 9 after plans for a hookah lounge on 11th Street didn’t pan. The substances burned in her hookahs, Tucker says, won’t contain tobacco or nicotine, but they’ll produce yummy smoke in such flavors as grape and apple. “I don’t know why everybody likes it,” she says. “I like it. I guess it’s something to do.” The food will be sandwiches and wings and other standard bar fare, except on Sundays and Wednesdays, when soul food will be offered up, she said. “I think it has merit,” says Ward 9 Ald. Jim Donelan. “I’d like to see small businesses, local businesses, succeed. It’s certainly something new for Springfield.”

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