What is a Cigar Club and How to Find the Best One

The smoking bars and lounges are the last bastions where cigar lovers can smoke freely without facing the disapproval of complainers from the general public. Many of these establishments serve food and alcohol, and some are even private. But what should you look for in a smoking lounge that suits your tastes? A cigar bar (or lounge) is an establishment that caters to customers who smoke cigars. The prevalence of smoking bars varies by country; some jurisdictions prohibit smoking in all businesses, while others offer an exemption for smoking bars.

My general rule is that I always bring my own cigars to smoke, but I also always buy cigars in their humidifier. For those who attend, many take the opportunity to learn more about cigars, try several cigars, and buy them as well. Once you know that your home cigar bar is open to the public, your friends will be on your doorstep like thirsty moths on fire. Although cigar bars have existed for years, interest in them developed in the 1990s, when cities and government entities began instituting smoking bans, but established exceptions for establishments that catered to smokers.

If you've been smoking cigars for a while, you've probably run into some kind of smokers' club or smokers' club of the month. A smokers' club of the month can be a great way to broaden your horizons, save money and learn more about the art of tobacco. Nobody says you can't flirt properly, but it's not a meat market, and since women are often the minority in smoking lounges, they shouldn't be made to feel like they're on display. The smoking lounge is a great place for like-minded people to relax, network and meet friends.

A matter of controversy in smoking lounges is whether it's appropriate to bring your own cigars if they sell them. The only two smoking bars in Major League Baseball are the Cuesta-Rey Cigar Bar at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Camacho Cigar Bar in Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. When you buy a cigar in any salon, even in a tobacco shop, it's almost impossible to tell how long the cigar has been in its humidifier. For those looking for an even more exclusive experience, there are cigar clubs that partner with some of the biggest brands and most talented master mixers in the industry to obtain exclusive cigars that are only available to members of the Connoiseur Cigar Club.

Exclusives like this really make the monthly cost of a club worthwhile, since not only are five cigars selected by hand and sent home, but you also get incredible cigars that aren't even available to most people. Having a cigar smoking community nearby, whether in person or online, can help enrich the experience, and that's another benefit that smoking clubs offer. There are a handful of smokers' bars that even serve dinner, but most focus exclusively on liquors and cigars to maximize their space for cigar customers.

Ernie Leduke
Ernie Leduke

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