Enjoying a cigar in Paris is quite an easy task – though the choice of places is limited. Since January 2008, most of the restaurants and hotels have rejected the option of installing an expensive ventilation system in a room, which employees would legally not be able to enter, anyway.
While waiting for the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz and the Crillon to re-open in 2015, classic places like the Cubana Cafe, Goumard, or À la Marguerite still stay in the race. But there are more and more locations in which one can light up a Puro. The rule here, however, is that there’s no rule: tiki bar, take away pizza or classy Chesterfield lounge. Follow us for some fresh air.
9 Rue Frochot, 75009 Paris
Pigalle is famous for its Moulin rouge, sex shops and peep shows. But please give this animated district a new try – especially going down SoPi (for South Pigalle). Dirty Dick used to be a hustlers’ bar. It’s now a tiki bar in the Polynesian tradition. Wooden seats, floral, vintage wallpaper and tattooed bartenders will make you feel like you’re on the beach. Cocktails are made with top-quality rums and juices. Ask for a Zombie (€15) or a Polynesian Remedy (€12) before entering the smoking room that has stuffed lion, tiger and baboon heads (no, you’re not dreaming) … aloha!
28 Rue de l’Arc de Triomphe, 75017 Paris
T +33 (0)1 40 55 03 57
Christophe, the owner of this boutique hotel near the arc de Triomphe, is a cigar smoker. His goal was to create a smoking room in a steel, leather and wooden ambience “only for the people who would ask for the key.” So you know that you had better call before entering this warm room decorated with african masks to enjoy your cigar with a Scottish Jura whisky (only €10 for a Lagavulin aged 16 years!). It’s up to you to plan any event here. The boss is really open minded. Small humidor with classic Cubans.
La Maison Champs-Elysées
8 Rue Jean Goujon, 75008 Paris
The Cigar Bar: Mon 12pm–midnight, Tue–Sun 12–3:30pm & 6pm–2am;
T +33 (0)1 40 74 64 94
The classiest place of this selection is located near Le Grand Palais. Also known by its restaurant name, La Table du Huit, it hides a 45m² dark smoking lounge with parquet floors and leather seats. The admission fee (€25) includes the first drink – large whiskies, rums and tequilas. Ask for a Mademoiselle Cognac cocktail (€12) or a Black Julep (€18) to start to relax. Without a doubt, this is the best air exchange system in Paris. Ideal for a business smoke.
The Hot Stuff
47 Boulevard de Port-Royal, 75013 Paris
Daily 11:30am–2:30pm, 7–10:30pm (Thu & Sat evenings until 11pm), closed Sunday lunch and Mondays;
T +33 (0)1 43 31 30 13
Nicolas Castelet, a young, talented chef in Converse shoes and a baseball cap has created the only Chef Pizza concept in Paris. His five-star pizzas (from €17–€35) contain top quality food products like ham from Guérande or green asparagus from the Val de Loire. Downstairs, a narrow smoking room with a big flat screen makes you feel at home. The chef is a Paris Saint-Germain supporter, so you can enjoy football matches here, as well as impromptu playstation tournaments. Reservation requested; ask Maxime, the manager.
Le Grill at Majestic Villa Hotel
30 Rue La Pérouse, 75016 Paris
T +33 (0)1 45 00 83 70
Not that far from the Champs-Elysées, the Majestic hides a terrace that seats twenty-four on its third floor. Not the sexiest, but comfortable enough to enjoy a mojito or a caipirinha (€20). From 12 to 2pm, a two-course menu is served (€39). The place is heated when it gets cold, and even stays open in winter.
This article was published in the Cigar Journal Autumn Edition 2014. Read more