Published 6:52 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Troy City Council members Johnny Witherington and Dejerilyn King Henderson listen to Aposha attorney Michael Winter.

In front of a packed city council chambers, Aposha, LLC was granted a conditional liquor license at Tuesday night’s Troy city council meeting.

“I am excited,” said one of the cafe and hookah lounge’s owners, Richard Jones. “But we are going to wait until after the next council meeting to open.”

That’s because part of Aposha’s operating plan still hangs in the balance. Right now, as long as a business license is obtained and a few code issues are corrected, Aposha could open up and begin serving flavored tobacco to be prepared and smoked at the new business on Love Street in Troy.

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However, at a city council meeting on May 28, that could change after a second reading of an ordinance and public hearing that could result in an amendment to the city’s smoking ordinance and the use of water pipes in public places being banned inside the city limits.

“We are going to wait and make sure we do things the right way the first time,” Jones said. “We are going to go about getting our business license now that we have the liquor license and move forward with our original plan, to serve hookah.”

Jones said he had hoped for a soft opening for Aposha back on May 3.


At the council’s work session prior to the meeting, attorney for Aposha owners, Michael Winter, along with the owners, met with council members to discuss the ordinance.

Winter told the council that, according to health studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, smoking water pipes was no more or less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes. He cited two cases where cities passed a ban on water pipe use without banning tobacco use altogether. In both cases, in Rapid City, S.D. and Hollywood, Fla., the decision was overturned because the court said it was, “illogical, inconsistent, illegal and unconstitutional to regulate water pipes any differently than cigarettes…”

Jones also brought a water pipe to assemble and show the council that he believes there is no way a customer can tamper with the ingredients in the pipe that would be prepared by Aposha staff. He also said there was no danger of passing communicable diseases because each smoker would receive their own plastic disposable tip to insert on the pipe’s tube.

Also at the city council meeting, council members voted to award a base bid with an additional alternate of $171,447 to J.A. Dawson & Co. to begin work on the Miracle League Playground; to allow for a partnered purchase with Troy University Police Department to obtain a new canine to be used for bomb detecting and human tracking; to remove weeds at 1111 Harrison St. and bill the owner; and to approve the pavement of roads that are part of the city’s ATRIP phase one project.