Eric Piras, the man behind Hong Kong-based cigar distribution and market development company Cigraal has just launched Bertie Cigars, an upscale lounge in Central Hong Kong. Attire House, which was opened a few months ago by local gentleman Brandon Chau, is home to Bertie Cigars. The spacious setting can seat over 50 people indoors and features a main lounge and two private rooms, while an outdoor covered terrace seats 16 people comfortably.
“Since Cigraal was launched almost four years ago, we’ve been appointed as brand developers for well-respected cigar manufacturers and lifestyle brands,” said Piras. “A space in Hong Kong to promote them as they deserved in was needed. It will be the first cigar store and tasting room in Hong Kong which heavily features cigars from different terroirs, including Cuban cigars.”
Bertie Cigars will focus on the brands Cigraal distributes, including Ashton, La Aroma del Caribe, Joya de Nicaragua, Flor de Selva, Cumpay, and Villa Zamorano, as well as cigars from Padrón and Oliva. “Of course we have a wide selection of Habanos, from their official distributor in Asia, Pacific Cigar Company,” said Piras. The lounge will also offer some vintage Cubans and rare Cuban limited and regional editions and also stock lifestyle products, such as the leather cigar pouches, and candles from French brands Récife & LPURO respectively.
Bertie – the nickname of King Edward VII
The lounge’s name, Bertie Cigars, pays homage to two British characters; one historical, the other fictional. “Bertie was the nickname of King Edward VII (1841-1910), a play on his first name Albert,” said Piras. “He was known as the Playboy King and although his reign was brief, he built quite a reputation as a bon-vivant, well-known for his profuse appetite for food, drink, sexual voracity and smoking… he is said to have smoked twelve cigars a day!” The other naming inspiration is Bertram „Bertie“ Wooster, a fictional character created by famous British author P.G. Wodehouse. As an idle rich English gentleman, Bertie becomes entangled in awkward situations while trying to help his friends, and is rescued by his wise valet Jeeves, who also helps him dodge sartorial disasters, said Piras.
Open to the general public, Bertie Cigars is conveniently located in the heart of Central, a two-minute walk from Central MTR station, and within walking distance of Hong Kong’s main office districts. “We are already seeing business men visiting during their lunch breaks or for meetings,” said Piras.
Piras is putting together a program of regular evening entertainment and Bertie Cigars is hosting its first event on Friday 8 March for International Women’s Day. “We’re also planning to offer simple menus for lunch and will join forces with Whisky, Cognac, and wine companies to hold tasting events with our cigars. Cigraal Academy, which launched in October, will also have an important place in Bertie, and we’ll soon start cigar training sessions aimed at private clients and hospitality staff.”
4/F, Duke Wellington House, 14-24 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
(just at the entrance of Lan Kwai Fong, world-the famous nightspot)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 12am
Instagram and Facebook: @bertiecigars