Six Confessions of a Smoking Lounge Owner
Here is a list of six “rules” an actual cigar shop owner sent Cigar Life Guy; a list of rules that can either make or break the cigar smoking experience in a private, smoking lounge. These rules may seem pretty universal, but you’d be surprised how often they get violated.
Smoking Lounge Business Isn’t Free
There is a cost of doing business. While you may be incredibly proud of your collection of trophy cigars from your home humidor, all cigar lounges offer some form of retail component. Selling cigars goes a long way to supporting the lounge. Expand your horizon and try some cigars you’ve never tried before. A new Mexican box press corona? A richly licorice-flavored Robusto with a Brazilian wrapper? Plus, many lounges roll their own. No better way to ingratiate yourself with the owner than enjoying the house brand every now and then. If anything, they make great gifts.
Sharing is Caring… To a Degree
If you have supported the shop’s cigars, and have a good rapport with the owner, next time you bring in the occasional hard to find Cuban, don’t be afraid to share with the host. Odds are pretty good he’s got a few trophies stashed away that you may never have seen and you may well become a beneficiary. Keep in mind, if the place doesn’t serve alcohol, please don’t sneak it in. Cigars and cocktails are natural pairings; don’t jeopardize the owner’s livelihood.
It’s a Smoking Lounge, Not a Home
Cigar smoking is all about relaxation. However, we don’t need to see your feet. Keep the shoes on, and keep your sprawl to a minimum. It’s a shared environment. Working on a laptop is acceptable. Doing people’s taxes and creating a branch office is not. Just because you are the first person in, doesn’t mean you get to control the television all night. We understand you want to watch “A Few Good Men” again; some folks want to watch JLO on World of Dance. Also, don’t ash on the floor; you wouldn’t do it at home.
Stick to Cigars
First and foremost, the ventilation systems are usually geared for cigar smoke. Cigar smokers and cigarette smokers are different people, and cigarette smoke is not welcome. It also doesn’t matter what the rules are for your state; unless the cigar lounge is also designated as a retail marijuana smoking place, leave your “specialty” smokes at home. Not everyone is tolerant, and just like with alcohol, there is no need to jeopardize the owner’s license.
Politics, Politics, Politics
Enjoying a cigar is not always a solitary event. A friendly discourse is great; stumping for your favorite politician can be polarizing and toxic; bad tempers can linger. It’s always difficult to find a happy medium. Just remember, the first goal of a cigar lounge is to provide a relaxing, inclusive environment. You may not know your host’s political leanings and you do want to be allowed back!
You Don’t Have to Go Home, but You Can’t Stay Here
Please don’t fall asleep; we’re not the waiting room at a Greyhound Terminal. Don’t light up a cigar 15 minutes before closing unless you plan on taking it with you. It may feel like home, but it probably isn’t the owner’s home. They need time to clean up and maybe enjoy a cigar in solitude. Be respectful and you will be rewarded many times over. That is a promise!
These “rules” were a guest submission by an actual cigar store owner in the Northeastern United States.