I am not and never have been a smoker. I really don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke; however, sometimes seeing a group of guys smoking a fine, expensive cigar is quite appealing. I can’t imagine a mancation, and there not be a cigar and a good drink involved. There are great cigar bars, all over the world but, after asking a few guy friends, I want to identify just a few right here in Chicago.
I was just informed that quality cigar establishments are called lounges, not bars. Sorry!
Iwan Ries & Co - on South Wabash is a plush getaway for the cigar smoker. Free Wi-fi; HD Screens are available in the BYO lounge. There is even a board room for those who like to work while enjoying their favorite cigar. Iwan Ries has hourly or yearly memberships. http://www.iwanries.com
Tesa Cigar Company on North Halsted is a man cave where you can watch the game, enjoy a libation, and smoke a stogie. All purchases of the Tabaclera Tesa line contributes toward providing housing repairs, education, and clothing to the people of Esteli Nicaragua where the Tesa Cigar Factory is located. It's nice to know that you are helping out others while enjoying a fine cigar.cigar. http://www.tesacigars.com/
Don't think that only men can enjoy a good cigar. Up Down Cigar on North Wells is woman owned and worth mentioning. In 1963 Diana Silvius opened a small shop named the Gerald Bernard Gallery at 205 West North Avenue in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. Her store featured the art of experimental and unknown local talents as well as an eclectic variety of campy and interesting merchandise. Now some 50 years later Up Down Cigar is still one of the top cigar establishments. While there try Diana's own line of cigars, now sold throughout the world as the Diana Silvius Diamond Vintage. http://www.updowncigar.com
The Hyde Park Cigar Shop is located in Harper Court across for the brand new Park Place Hyatt Hotel. Again, I have never experienced any of these cigar lounges, but I have heard a lot about this one. The Hyde Park Cigar Shop is not new to Hyde Park. It was located at 1465 E. 53rd St until this past year when the University of Chicago bought the building. They moved into their new location at 5220 S. Harper Ave this past August. Both ladies and gents seem to enjoy the atmosphere of the exotic cigars and great entertainment. Marie, from the Hyde Park area told me that she and her friends often go by there. She enjoys the smell of a good cigar, the music is great and not overpowering, and the guys are bad to look at. I may have to check this place out. http://www.hydeparkcigars.com/
So ladies, when he comes home with a smile on his face, relaxed and smelling like a fine cigar, don’t give him any grief and tell him to take a shower and change his clothes, he’s just been with his boys. If you have a favorite cigar bar you would like to share just let me know.
Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!
Co-host of The Traveling Eye!