Mike Rigali’s Hideaway Hookah Bar in Holyoke

We discovered a cozy hideaway when we attended a Holyoke Chamber function below the Waterfront on Main St. in the city’s Springdale neighborhood last night. Both of us had been to the big bar upstairs before but never to their much cozier little bar called the Bungalow, located on a level below, right next to the river.

Mike pointed to two hookah pipes in the corner. “We rent those out with a full pouch of tobacco,” he said, “It’s so relaxing to sit by the fire and puff on those all night.” Wow, did anyone know that Holyoke had a waterfront outdoor patio with a firepit and pipes? The place looks like a hidden speakeasy; the entrance is graced with an electric meter and it’s right next to a giant furnace smokestack. But inside it’s cozy and cool with a U-shaped bar, warmed by a gas fireplace.

Mike Rigali’s place has been operating on weekends for four years, he told us. Inside the tiny little bar there’s a big window that opens up to a patio with a firepit. Tiki torches light the perimeter and there’s a nice view of the Connecticut River. It looks like a great place for us to repair to some warm summer evening when we want to get outside and have a drink.

Forget the schlepp up to Noho, hey, this is just as cool and it’s right here in our city. Holyoke is slowly and steadily becoming better and better, with the new Dam Cafe and places like this that make it much more fun to be here.