Owners of fined hookah lounge feel penalties ‘unfair’

By | September 11, 2020

WINNIPEG — A hookah lounge is facing almost $13,000 in fines from the province, saying the lounge has broken public health orders.

However, the owners feel the fines are unfair.

7 Arabian Dreams Restaurant and Hookah Lounge on Corydon Avenue can’t serve its namesake product due to health orders.

“Basically it’s a hookah lounge and that’s all we have here. People come here to smoke hookah,” said Amanjot Singh Bajwa, who is a co-owner at the lounge.

The lounge has received five public health violations for serving hookah.

The first time was on Aug. 1, it was then fined three times on Aug. 27 and the most recent violation came on Sept. 8.

The violations come to a total of $12,710.

“We are going to fight them because it’s unfair. $13,000 for a small business is crazy.”

Singh Bajwa feels hookah is safe.

“When the customer is done, we wash and sanitize everything. We change the water. Everything.”

He added that they have asked why they can’t serve hookah and they haven’t received an answer.

“We talked to them. We didn’t get a reply and now we got a ticket for almost $13,000.”

The Liquor Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba said it can’t comment on the issue.

CTV News also reached out to public health but has not heard back.

7 Arabian Dreams is one of three hookah lounges to be fined for breaking public health orders.

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