Raad Alcamel and Luay Alalawi, also known as “Rod and Louie” by those around town who know them —have been operating the Smoke Break on 418 East 300 South smoke shop for the past year.
Their well operated store has done very well, the partners take turns tending the shop. Despite their success with their own shop they were very sad to see this historic Jeanie’s Smoke Shop on State Street close down after 55 years in business.
They both knew the Owner Gary Klc, because they had been patronizing Jeanie’s for years.
“My first day in Salt Lake City, I walked in to Jeanies,” recounts Luay, “when I saw the shop and entered the doors I said, ‘now this is a real smoke shop!”
Both men are refugees from Iraq. Both spent two years in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia after they had to leave due to the first Persian Gulf war with Iraq. Despite losing their homes, Luay has studied computer science and Raad has a degree in Engineering and they have lived in Salt Lake City for the past 10 years. “This is now the closest place I have to home,” says Luay.
Raad and Luay have have reopened Jeanie’s with the primary goal to retain the history and integrity of the orginal shop. They say they are taking all requests from Jeanie’s old customers and they will order anything they don’t have.
Just as the original Jeanie’s was famous for their pipes and loose tobacco, they now have a good selection of both. The only difference is Jeanie’s now carries hookah water pipes and supplies.