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SHSU alumnus opens "Gundy's", Huntsville’s first hookah lounge

Students buzz with excitement over refreshing environment, tastes

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013

Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2013 01:04

Alum opens Huntsville’s first hookah lounge

Connor Hyde | The Houstonian

GETTING THE HOOKUP: Students John Schulty, Haley Gutierrez, Sarah Casey and Shanna Henry were among the students enjoying the sounds, tasts and hookah flavors of “Gundy’s” lounge, located at 2212 Ave. I in Huntsville.

Students at Sam Houston State University now have a place to lounge, socialize and do some late night studying with the opening of Gundy’s, the first hookah lounge in Huntsville, on Wednesday.

The lounge is the brainchild of 2011 Mass Communication graduate Taylor Gunderson and a group of his friends as a way to give back to the college community in town.

 “[Gundy’s] isn’t about the money and it never was,” Gunderson said. “It’s about giving students a place to be free, to be themselves and a place to just get on the internet, play some games and just socialize.”

In addition to being a hookah lounge, Gundy’s also serves a wide variety of coffees and teas at affordable prices for students with a comfortable atmosphere, music playing in the background and a small area for live music. Additionally, students can study or browse the internet with the free internet connections available.

In Sept. 2012, a friend of Gunderson’s proposed the idea of opening a hookah bar in Huntsville. Although Gunderson works a regular job as a sound producer for traveling bands, he agreed to the idea and began scouting different locations for the ideal environment for college students.

“Our biggest demographic are people from the dorms because they’re too young to go to the clubs and if they do, they have to pay ten dollars to get in,” Gunderson said. “Gundy’s will never charge a cover….We also made sure our products are the cheapest in Huntsville, even compared to campus.”  
Nestled across from Raven Village dorm building, next to Potato Shack, Gundy’s appears to be small on the outside but upon walking in, the music and low-lighting take over to provide a relaxing environment for students. The brick walls are decorated with old posters and pictures of movies and rock bands. Completing the décor and unique to Gundy’s, is the “Wall of Confessions” where customers can write whatever they want.

Several students were excited to see something new to Huntsville, especially a business specifically geared toward them and open late until 1 a.m. every day.

“I think Huntsville needed it,” sophomore kinesiology major Jarriet Jensen said. “Before I would just go hang out at the Kat Klub on campus but even that isn’t much. The environment here is real chill and I’ll definitely be regular.”

According to freshman biology major Cory Broady, the environment in combination with the late night hours, are a genius idea for a college town.

“[Hookah, coffee and tea] are very popular things for college students,” said. “This is the first spot besides the LSC to really hang out and the hours are perfect for us.”

Gunderson said the official Grand Opening of Gundy’s will be sometime in early May, but he is excited for what the future has in store for his business and the students of SHSU.

“Our ultimate goal is to expand next door and build an outside area for Huntsville because we believe in this place, we believe in the community and we believe in the students that we can expand it not for our benefit but for Huntsville’s benefit.”

For more information, follow Gundy’s on Facebook.

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