By , The Oakland Post

Bars. Concerts. Boutiques. Coffee Shops. First Fridays. Art galleries. Downtown Oakland is about more than corporate meetings and business suits meeting nowadays. It has become reflective of Oakland’s growing culture.A large purple sign reading “Planet Soule” has illuminated above Geoffrey’s Inner Circle for years, and finally the dream that it embodies is coming to fruition.

Whether you want to party at Vinyl Night Club and Restaurant, explore the Joyce Gordon Art Gallery, reflect with friends at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, get “tatted” at Oakland Ink or enjoy premier improvisation and spoken word at Imagine Affairs, the emerging strip on 14th street – between Broadway and Franklin streets – is becoming representative of it all.

Taking it up a notch, Oakland native and chart topping recording artist Dwayne Wiggins is adding his flavor to the new mix by opening “HUSH,” a wine and hookah lounge.

Whether it is his musical genius with Tony! Toni! Tone! or his creative niche at his JAHVA Coffee House franchise, Wiggins is an entrepreneur.

He’s taking that same business approach with “HUSH,” as he looks to offer something new and exciting to Oakland residents.

Wiggins2Linked to Middle Eastern culture, hookah is an instrument used to vaporize and smoke flavored tobacco called Shisha. Over the past decade, it has gained popularity in the United States in areas such as Washington, D.C, Atlanta and New York. Wiggins feels Oakland shouldn’t be left out of the equation.

Of course, his signature JAHVA organic coffee will be available to customers as well as free Wi-Fi.

“Our people need to experience more cultural things. They need to be able to come to an area and travel outside of this state, this city,” said Wiggins.

He hopes the new strand of businesses on 14th Street will bring a sense of pride back to the Oakland. His venues always work to uplift and enlighten the community, says Wiggins.

“I’m looking out for the best interest of the city…. I’m not going to do something to [mess] it up,” he said. “My spirit, my drive is to do the right thing.”

Wiggins is working overtime to ensure everything is done properly, and he expects a grand opening to occur sometime in November.

Cross posted from The Oakland Post 

About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local ( a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

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