Thrii Legged Monkey Fuses Hookah Bar and Modern Art
Alumna Lisasette Moore thought something was missing in Arlington when she attended the university.
“We didn’t have a place that was close we could go to,” she said. “We always had to drive to Dallas or Fort Worth for a good time.”
Columbia College student Duane Madden recites a poem about texting and driving at the Thriii Legged Monkey. Madden performs occasionally during the Inkwell Poetry Slam hosted there. (The Shorthorn: Erika Dupree)
Moore came up with an idea for a space that would provide a gallery and venue for different art mediums. Her idea became Thrii Legged Monkey, a hookah lounge that hosts poetry readings, break-dance competitions and social parties, all with the backdrop of its modern art gallery.
“It took a while to even get people to understand what the concept was,” Moore said. Students and the community did not have an understanding of hookah, Moore said.
“It’s a natural cured tobacco that contains no tar,” she said.
University studies senior Jordan Dressel is Thrii Legged Monkey’s art director. He works with local artists to secure artwork for the gallery. He also helps coordinate local charitable and artistic events with artists, something he said the local artists have responded to well.
“They love it,” Dressel said. “This is a safe haven for them. We let them come in here and paint live.”
When Moore opened the doors last November, she invited local artists to decorate the walls. The result turned every wall in the venue into an art piece.
When several graffiti artists came into legal trouble over their art pieces being illegally applied to walls and trains across the Metroplex, Moore said she spoke with police to broker a plan that allows for them to clean up areas in heavily painted areas in Deep Ellum.
“There are some more creative things that could be done with these people besides jailing them,” Moore said.
Lisasette Moore, owner of Thriii Legged Monkey, prepares a hookah pipe by placing hot coals on it. Thriii Legged Monkey is a hookah lounge and gallery in Arlington that hosts poetry slams, open mic and more. (The Shorthorn: Erika Dupree)
Columbia College student Duane Madden is a member of the Inkwell Poetry Slam, a local group dedicated to enriching local poets and spoken word performers. The group is one of several that meet and perform out of Thrii Legged Monkey. Moore said the venue also plays host to the university’s Improv group and local break-dancing competitions.
Not to be distracted from the venue’s main selling point of the art gallery, but Thrii Legged Monkey also sells hookah in more than 25 different flavors. Moore said a part of her vision was to introduce hookah in a more urban environment to patrons who may not be familiar with the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern custom. Of the lounge’s flavors, she said the house blends tend to sell the best.
Although there is no specific crowd that comes to Thrii Legged Monkey, Dressel and Moore want the multipurpose venue to appeal to not only the university, but the Arlington community as a whole.
“Not only is this a hookah lounge and art gallery, but it is also an entertainment venue, and we cater to all forms of art,” Moore said.
Courtesy of The Shorthorn