A struggling hookah bar in downtown Farmingdale has received village permission to seek a state liquor license that might revive the business.
The village board voted, 4-1, on Monday to amend Mystique Gardens’ special permit to restrict admission to those 21 and older and to allow alcohol to be served, paving the way for owners Maurice and Maged Eldeiry to obtain a liquor license.
The Conklin Street business previously was open to those of legal smoking age, which is 19 and older.
It has a strained history with the village board, which in July 2011 narrowly approved its permit to operate with a 3-2 vote and which last August rejected the Eldeirys’ first attempt to obtain a liquor license, also with a 3-2 vote.
The cousins at the time had sought to serve alcohol while using wristbands to differentiate between those patrons too young to drink and those of legal drinking age.
Village officials have said they feel more comfortable restricting the crowd at Mystique Gardens to 21 and older with alcohol service.
Maurice Eldeiry has said the hookah bar cannot survive unless he and Maged change the business model to include alcohol service.