The state of Florida has seen incredible growth over the last thirty years. It started off on the coasts, but of course after a while that land became more and more expensive and harder to find.
In The Queen City of Cincinnati, Ohio there is a very unique cigar concept called Over the Rhine Cigars.
Traveling down the West Virginia Turnpike on my way to the town of Beaver, you start to realize why John Denver was so taken by this state that he wrote a song about it. Truly these country roads take you through some of the most beautiful country in the United States. For this Floridian, it…
Downtown St. Petersburg is without a doubt the finest part of the state of Florida! What was once nothing more than a tiny replica of New York City, geared to appease those Big Apple snowbirds in the winter months, has now developed into a mecca of culture and gastronomical delights all onto itself.
Located on the Southern tip of Pinellas County just South of St. Petersburg, Gulfport is a beautiful hidden gem of a town that you would never find unless someone dragged you there by the nose.
Just outside of Boise, Idaho lies a quaint little town called Meridian. It is in this town of Meridian where one can find the former bank turned cigar lounge called The Vault.
New Tobacco VillageJust a tad North of Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and not too far from the Western border of New Jersey lies a town called Whitehall. In this town of Whitehall lies the friendliest cigar shop on Earth called New Tobacco Village. Much like the tv show Cheers, usually everyone knows the name of whoever walks in the front door of this cigar sanctuary. Owner and zen master, Lina Hadid controls the thermostat of the vibe that keeps the emotional temperature of the lounge at a steady 74 degrees!
Down in the Southeast corner of the Atlanta metro area is a sanctuary for lovers of the leaf called Leaf Life. Minority-owned, Leaf Life has a vibe that is an African-American/Cuban-American hybrid, which means the tobacco is on point and the love is plentiful! A big spacious sitting area greets the patron as they walk through the door, and a beautiful mural extends along the right-hand wall of the lounge that shows the blend of cultures that exists in the lounge, as well as the cigars.
If I were ever to move away from the Tampa Bay area, it would be to The Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina! In this wonderful metro area there are 2 locations of a really cool concept cigar lounge called Tailored Smoke. This lounge is like no other in which all patrons are members, not guests. The membership fee is $10 a year, but it entitles the patrons to a plethora of benefits making it a no-brainer to hop on board. But there is more than just the membership that makes this place special, it is in fact, a tailored experience! From what you are drinking to what you are smoking is all very specific to your personal tastes. Most lounges with liquor and cigars have a bartender. Have you ever heard of a cigartender?? Didn’t think so. As I write this, Word is telling me that I spelled the word wrong, but actually Word is wrong, because this word does in fact exist, maybe just in the Tarheel State for the time being, but soon I believe it will be said everywhere! How many times did you say social distancing in 2019? Exactly! When the Oxford English Dictionary adopts it, I will have gone on record as saying I knew it first because I know the man behind the madness, Preston Gray. Preston is the owner and brains behind the concept, and ensures that Tailored Smoke is not just the name of the lounge, but it is the creed, mantra and overall philosophy of the establishment as well!
If you visit the absolutely beautiful downtown area of Naples, Florida, do yourself a favor and go two blocks off the main street to Eighth Street South and that is where you will find Marcus Daniel Tobacconist. This pristine cigar lounge looks like no other. Outside of the store there are many comfortable sofas and chairs where one can sit and enjoy the serine street life of Naples. Inside, the client enters a different world where all of the senses are made to believe that you have teleported to a cigar shop in Havana. The décor, furniture, music and aromas of the cigars are all within the theme and are all on point.
Blessed be this wonderful lounge in the bosom of America’s heartland, Ashland, Kentucky. If you need a smoky treat while driving down Interstate 64 at the junction of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, I have just the place! Beautiful souls and owners, Dwight and Shannon Adkins caught up with me and we discussed the incredibly unique establishment that is Fat Ash as well as the jewel that is Boyd County, Kentucky and all it has to offer.
If you’re driving down to Naples from the North, take exit 111 which is Immokalee Road and head West until you see the Shoppes of Galeria. In this pristine shopping center, go to the Western most part and you will see Vicente of London. The self-proclaimed “Hidden Gem” by one of the owners, Phillip Beshara, is an absolute treat for the cigar lover. After having a beer and a cigar with Phillip, I would agree with calling the place a jewel indeed.