Most cigar smokers have a “home base” – whether it is a club, bar, or a cigar lounge, they frequent where they feel right at home, and everyone knows you.
When you aren’t near that favorite place, you might be looking for a “home away from home” kind of feeling, and believe it or not, there are plenty of places that just feel just like that when you are away from home or even when you travel.
There’s one major point that makes or breaks the right spot to enjoy cigar-smoking, but let’s get to the minor issues first.
A knowledgeable staff is essential for a good cigar bar or lounge, especially if you are looking for recommendations on new brands or even looking to enjoy something local.
In the event you know exactly what you want to smoke, the right staff can accommodate you with the right cutter (when traveling by plane with only a carry on), the right lighter (again with the not being allowed on a plane at all), or even just some of the latest industry knowledge and lingo about your favorite smoke.
Brush up on your cigar knowledge in our Cigar 101 primer.
But more than anything else, you want to know that the staff can help you choose a great cigar by understanding your preferences and ensuring that you enjoy your visit to their establishment.
Those things certainly can help you feel at home when you can’t be.
The environment is also an important factor in enjoying your visit to a cigar shop or lounge.
Things as simple as furniture arrangement and comfort can ruin an experience.
If there are uncomfortable chairs arranged in a way that would make conversation with others in your party difficult, that shop is probably not one that is inviting you to hang around and enjoy your purchase.
Not everyone wants to take a premium cigar home and would rather smoke with other cigar enthusiasts.
Excellent ventilation is essential wherever you go – hanging out in a stagnate cloud of smoke isn’t exactly enjoyable for most.
Look for an establishment with a reasonable temperature – not too hot in the summer and not too cold in the winter.
Guest comfort should never be overlooked.
Unless there is a major event or sporting event, the television volumes should be kept at a level that is not distracting and does not overwhelm patrons’ conversations.
Outdoor lounges are also a nice touch when the weather is permitting.
Establishments should ensure that they keep the patrons comfortable during their visit, whether it is the space layout, furniture, noise, or ventilation.
The establishment’s goal should be that you enjoy your time, meet new friends, and hopefully return in the future.
Take a look at the selection of cigars offered.
There should be something available for everyone and in every price range. The goal being all-inclusive.
Beware of shops in high tourism areas with outrageously high prices.
It may benefit you to ask around before you head out to a particular destination in hopes of finding a reputable shop for that specific area.
You may be able to find that great “hole in the wall” or even a well-known bucket list type of place.
Also, make a note of the condition of the cigars:
- Is there a lot of mold?
- Is the establishment careful with humidification?
- Is there any mold growing inside the humidor?
These are red flags that the inventory is not being well cared for and that this may not be the establishment for you (or anyone really).
A bar is an excellent addition to a cigar lounge. Make sure they offer a selection of whiskeys, bourbons, beers, wine, and cocktails.
A knowledgeable bartender doesn’t hurt either. That issue goes back to the staff section we covered earlier.
Most cigar smokers like to enjoy a wide range of beverages with their cigars, though most seem to enjoy an excellent American bourbon.
A well-stocked bar is again a plus and not a necessity.
The absolute number one, most important thing that can make or break a cigar lounge experience is the customer base.
There was once an article that was interviewing Jose Blanco for a story.
The article talked about the popularity of large ring gauge cigars in the United States, and then the piece just switched gears!
He suddenly asked the interviewer what the one thing that could ruin any good cigar was.
She noted that she couldn’t come up with a reasonable and educated answer for such an aficionado and said she wasn’t sure.
“Smoking it next to an asshole,” was his reply to her.
That answer is spot on and really what your experience at a cigar lounge is all about.
You should not only receive stellar customer service from a knowledgeable staff member and have a comfortable furniture option in which to enjoy your selection, but you should also have the chance to talk with new and old faces alike.
But above all that, you should not have to contend with or sit next to the assholes of the world, even if it is just for that brief time while you enjoy your cigar.
After all, you’ve earned it.
Clarksville, TN Cigar Lounge
If you’re in the Clarksville, TN area, and are looking for a place to post up and smoke a few quality cigars, come pay us a visit.
We sell a large selection of premium cigars and 42 different kinds of beer.
Come take a break and relax in our comfortable seating area or have some fun playing on one of our pool tables or dart boards in our 4800 square foot lounge.
Browse our 1200 square foot humidor to find the perfect cigar to enjoy while relaxing in our comfortable seating area or while playing pool or darts.
Watch the Titans play on one of our 6 big-screen televisions or our jumbotron.
Come on in and be part of our family.