Culture: Outsmarting the Smoking Ban
The days of celebrating the close of a deal with a cigar and scotch are nearly gone. But a small handful of New York City establishments allow you to indulge. Mortgage Observer has outlined a helpful cheat sheet of bars and clubs where you can still legally smoke a cigar.
1. Carnegie ClubThe Carnegie Club, named for its location behind Carnegie Hall, has Gothic interiors that feature hand-carved, 18th-century bookcases filled with leather-bound books, deep leather and velvet seating, and a stone fireplace. The cigars come along with a solid selection of creative cocktails and premium spirits. Either pop in after work or come on Saturdays when Steve Maglio and the Stan Rubin Orchestra perform a weekly Frank Sinatra show.
156 W. 56th St., New York City, 212-957-9676, hospitalityholdings.com
2. Hudson Bar & BooksThe rest of New York’s top cigar bars have Bar & Books to thank for paving the way. Now a chain with five locations, the original Bar & Books on Hudson Street in the West Village opened in 1990 when the idea of a luxury cigar bar was all but nonexistent in New York. This cozy lounge set the trend, pairing excellent cigars with traditional cocktails like James Bond favorite the Vesper. In addition to the traditional leather banquettes, wood paneling and bookshelves, Hudson Bar & Books spices things up with whimsical elements like English monkey sconces, leopard pillows and a copper bar.
636 Hudson Street, New York City, 212-229-2642, barandbooks.cz
3. Club MancanudoHard-core cigar lovers favor the Upper East Side’s Club Mancanudo thanks to its selection of more than 130 cigars, a state-of-the-art ventilation system and private humidors. The elegant environment is maintained with a dress code requiring men to wear collared shirts and disallowing uncouth wardrobe items including sneakers, flip-flops and T-shirts. Club Mancanudo is also one of the rare cigar bars that has a complete menu. We highly recommend a classic rib eye and the club’s indulgent 63rd Street Martini ($63) to accompany your cigar.
26 E. 63rd Street, New York City, 212-752-8200, clubmacanudo.com
4. Grand Havana RoomIf you can wrangle entry, Grand Havana Room is far more that a cigar bar. It’s a private, members-only club with one of the largest humidors in the Western Hemisphere. With hundreds of private cigar lockers and a mind-boggling list of A-list members including celebrities, politicians and titans of Wall Street, it’s the perfect environment for doing business while smoking a cigar. Spread across 17,000 square feet, the club includes a restaurant, bar and screening room, as well as soaring views from the top floor of 666 Fifth Avenue. 6
66 Fifth Avenue #39, New York City, 212-245-1600, grandhavana.com
5. Cigar InnThe Cigar Inn is designed to be the ultimate man cave. This upscale cigar shop in Midtown is not only home to an official Cigar Aficionado lounge but features flat-screen TVs for watching the big game, a selection of haberdashery items and custom barbers’ chairs imported from Japan, where visitors can enjoy a shave and a shoe shine. Ignore the store hours any time a big sporting event is on—the shop will be open late. Just remember to bring your own wine or whiskey, as there’s no alcohol for sale on the premises.
1016 Second Avenue, New York City, 212-750-0809, cigarinn.com