The Bakersfield City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance governing hookah lounges. Wednesday’s vote requires they get cabaret licenses if they offer either live music or have recorded music with dancing. Those that do will have to close by 2:00 AM and require everyone to leave the premises, the rules take effect in thirty days. Hookah lounges have been the scene of numerous violent crimes but business owners say those things happen outside, not inside the lounges. Those that decide not to have live music or dancing can remain open late, but minors are no longer permitted in any case.

Sean Michael Lisle