Morgantown is now home to the only hookah bar in West Virginia.

Domenick Melillo, co-owner of X-hale hookah bar, said the idea for the bar came about because he grew up in an area where it was always around.

"It was a nice thing to see people gather to smoke hookah, and it was a nice experience to have," he said.

This same experience is offered to students through X-hale, Melillo said, which is located at 218 Walnut St. and replaces Club Octane.

He hopes the bar will serve as a gathering place for friends to meet and talk rather than a club scene.

"There's hookah bars around the country," Melillo said. "You can come in for a cup of coffee, use Wi-Fi and smoke a bowl."

Having the bar in Morgantown is great because the demographics of hookah smokers are younger people, he said.

"The American trend of hookah smokers are younger people," Melillo said. "But in other parts of the world, it's part of the culture."

Melillo explains hookah is "all natural," since the tobacco is heated and filtered through water to create a vapor.

"An average can of hookah is only 17 percent tobacco," he said. "The rest is fruits, berries and various flavors."

X-hale offers more than 50 flavors of hookah for people to choose from, Melillo said. It costs $12 to rent a hookah and an additional $2 to share.

Hookahs can be shared four ways, and each hookah can last for about an hour, he said.

Although smoking hookah doesn't result in a high, users should stay hydrated and eat before smoking, he said.

They hope to expand into more entertainment, such as belly dancing and contests, but currently offer music and televisions, Melillo said.

Jordan Sutton, a DJ at X-hale, said it is a great place to unwind and enjoy a variety of hookah flavors.

"DJing at the bar is extremely fun. It's a great environment, and students seem to love it," Sutton said.

The hookah bar is good for a group to go out and relax, said Damaceno Guillermo, a junior communications studies major.

"It's great we finally have a lounge of some sort. It's a good change from the bars," he said.

Sophomore pre-nursing major Christine Harvey said she like to sometimes visit the hookah bar when she goes out.

"We have a lot of hookah bars at home," she said. "It's nice to finally have one on campus again."

A previous hookah bar, Sahara Cafe, located on Walnut Street, closed in 2007.

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