A calm Monday night in Santo Domingo. After a great diner at, Franco’s, one of the best Italian restaurants of the city, where we had a gorgious linguine al vongole, we head for the best cigar club in town: Arturo Fuente’s, where the place is packed with affluent passionados.
Men only, although you can perfectly bring your wife, the extraction system in the huge ceilings is very performant. Enjoying a Glenlivet 15 years, we smoke of course a cigar from the house, an Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva flor fina. The adjacent humidor shop in this fantastic place carries all the Fuente’s you can dream of, the whole range inclusive the limited editions is present here, as well as all the branded accessories ( humidors, cutters, ashtrays, lighters…) There are six private rooms here you can hire. Apart from the full bar top-shelf wines and spirits, you can order great tapa’s here.
We’ve seen a lot of cigar bars and lounges in the world, but this is by far the most impressive till now. The Fuente family spent more than a million dollars in the design of the place, done partly by the famous artist Florence Weriath. It was built in 1997, but completely remodeled in 2011.
My companion Gustavo De Hostos, who lives in this city, recognises a lot of millionaires at the bar, even a minister. He also finds this is the nicest cigar bar in the whole Carabean. He has a locker here, and comes once every week to smoke. And sometimes he performs, in May he will give a crooner concert with a famous trumpettist. Gustavo , active in aviation, produces his own cigars, Puros de Hostos, which are manufactured by De los Reyes since ten years. He sells about 100.000 sticks per year, mostly exported to the Middle-East.
But here he is relaxing and sipping his single malt, while enjoying the particular atmosphere in this luxury bar, and making jokes to Mario, the second best bartender on the island.
“In the weekend you have to wait for three hours to get in”, it’s an open club although the 750 members of the club always have priority. It’s the beau monde of the capital you see here” and when he drives me back to his home you can see that this city quite developed the last ten years. Brand new enlighted tunnels to ease the busy trafic, new office buildings, recent cars, it all gives the impression of economic prosperity. I’m travelling to the cigar capital Santiago de los Caballeros tomorrow to attend the Procigar Festival. I hope I’ll find a place like this over there!
Arturo Fuente CIgar Club
Av 27 de Febrero 211, Santo Domingo
Opens every day from 10 am till 00.00
Text: Ben Vinken