Experience the Smokey Side of NYC!
Ready to roll like a fat cat? Want to feel like you’re in the one percent for a while? In New York City you’ll get the chance to indulge in conspicuous luxury at one of the city’s many cigar shops and lounges. You might be surprised to know that, despite the city’s smoking ban, there are still plenty of places where you can light up. And in a few of them, you’ll even be able to have a drink poured to go with it.
De La Concha: This was the first cigar lounge I visited in New York City, and it remains my favorite. On Sixth Avenue in mid-town, there is plenty of seating in front of the store’s floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall window which looks straight onto one of the city’s busiest sidewalks. Ask for the house cigar at De La Concha, made by cigar industry legend Pepin Garcia, who used to run quality control for the cigar industry in Cuba.
Cigar Inn: It’s located a bit outside the midtown action, on E. 54th Street and Second Avenue, but the shop is always packed, and it stays open late. There’s a full selection in the humidor that will appeal to almost everyone’s taste. And if you need a haircut, make arrangements for a seat in one of Cigar Inn’s two barber chairs!
Barclay Rex (downtown): Wall Street smokes at the Barclay Rex on Broad Street. Just a few blocks from the New York Stock Exchange (where you’ll find the city’s best burgers, there is lots of seating, although it does fill up during peak smoking hours. You’ll find plenty of suits around you, but don’t be surprised by the occasional t-shirt: at most New York cigar lounges, all types are attracted.
Carnegie Club: Also in midtown, this is one of the few places where you can have a cigar and a cocktail at the same time. Not far from De La Concha, on W. 56th Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, the Carnegie Club is open late. The drinks and cigars are a bit pricey, and if you bring your own cigars, you’ll need to pay a cutting fee. You can make the most of your experience by purchasing the cheapest cigar on the menu instead of paying the cutting fee, and bringing other cigars to smoke.
Grand Havana Room: This is going to be a tough one for you to reach. The Grand Havana, atop 666 Fifth Avenue, is open only to members and their guests. Having been lucky enough to score an invitation on a handful of occasions, I can tell you that the experience is incredible, right down to the carefully prepared meals … and the table-high ashtrays scattered throughout the lounge’s restaurant.
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