Mimosa, a mix of more than juice and champagne
by Adam Garrett-Clark
The décor of the place hits you right away – low cushioned seating, rolling drapery, ornate lanterns, an overwhelming supply of hookahs and a faint scent of apple.
Mimosa, on Sherman Avenue near Isham Street, is the latest creation of Inwood accountant and entrepreneur, Miguel Acosta.
The former owner of the Mediterranean themed Tinto Restaurant across from Fort Tryon Park, Acosta re-entered the dining world last July with Northern Manhattan’s first hookah bar.
The lounge Acosta has created hints at a back alley smoke room in Casablanca while holding onto the fist pumping adrenalin of a big-screened sports bar.
Above the bar, lined with small water pipes, are three flat screen televisions. Against the back wall a long row of cushioned seating (pillows used as back rests) is sectioned off with cushioned stools, providing tall ornate hookahs in each division. Acosta keeps about 20 hookahs in the room, he said, with 10 more on reserve in storage.
Intentionally moving his recent business away from a dependence on food, Acosta said the unique atmosphere was exactly what he was aiming for. “My food is complimentary to the establishment,” he said.
The menu is an assortment of finger foods selected from Acosta’s own personal tastes. A selection of quipes, fried breaded balls with meat inside, empanadas, and taquitos is set alongside beef skewers, barbecue ribs and calamari. Most customers order the “Mimosa Completa” which is an enormous plate full of everything on the menu for $30.
Living up to its name the lounge has four different mimosas to choose from including the house mimosa – an undisclosed concoction that comes with whole blueberries served in the glass.
The flip side of the menu offers 30 different types of flavored tobacco. Hookah rentals run $20, $10 for a refill and $2 for charcoal. Constantly re-investing in more water pipes, Acosta said he’s learned to buy shorter hookahs because they are less prone to breaking during an accidental tug from an animated patron. Still on his busiest nights he’s been known to run out of hookahs.
On Tuesdays, he hires a promoter to throw “Hookahs Locas” night, which draws a hefty crowd, and on Thursdays, a live guitarist plays classic Latino songs. Fridays are popular with his after work customers. So far the lounge has drawn a more distinguished crowd, diners and smokers between the ages of 30 and 60 years old.
Just last week, Acosta said, Mimosa drew the fascination of one A-list 34 year old in particular - Yankee catcher Jose Molina was awestruck by the elaborate iron gated liquor storage room in the back.
Mimosa 263 Sherman Avenue (212) 544-0046
The Manhattan Times is the bilingual newspaper of Washington Heights and Inwood.