Upper King is about to get a taste of Casablanca. Following a June fire, Torch will rise quite literally from its ashes on Aug. 22 reopening as Priya (545 King St.), a Moroccan/circus-inspired hookah bar.
“We’re basically toning it down,” says Mike Vitale, Torch’s former owner and now Priya’s bar manager. “Torch had evolved into a night club, with super bright lighting. Now we’re embracing the hookah side of it, getting away from the night club vibe.”
Vitale says that where Torch failed due to lack of curb appeal and a sterile interior, Priya will succeed thanks to a much warmer interior.
“We’ll still have DJs on weekends, but it will be more about the Moroccan hookah atmosphere,” he says. And he’s serious about the hookah adding that Priya will offer over 50 kinds of shisha — or fruit flavored tobacco. So, no worries about bogart-ing the waterpipe, there’s plenty to go around.
Though an official drink menu is still in the works, Vitale promises it will include special teas and have Moroccan beers as well. Hummus and tapenade will be included on a menu of light appetizers.
Priya will be open Tues.-Sat. from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.