Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em

Cigar spots sport stogie style

In Los Angeles, the stogie trend hit its peak about eight years ago – about the same time state workplace laws made it largely illegal to smoke indoors. Local cigar lounges took the hit hard; one proprietor estimates that for every three cigar bars in business a decade ago, only one is still here to tell the tale. And the celebrity cigar bars were sold to non-pros years ago.

However, the handful that remain are stalwart and purveyors say that cigars may be ready for a comeback.

“We’re the next Starbucks of cigars,” says David Weiss of Lone Wolf Cigars in Santa Monica. “It’s been a mom-and-pop industry, but that’s not the way we see it.”

Grand Havana Room
301 N. Canon Drive., Beverly Hills (310) 385-7700
Founded by: The publicly traded company opened in 1995, followed by a Gotham outpost in 1998.
Capacity: About 150.
Brands: About 100.
Best-seller: Arturo Fuente Opus X ($20).
Cigar lockers: 350. Rent one and your neighbors include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson, Ben Affleck and Dennis Rodman.
Claim to fame: The city’s only private cigar club. Admission comes by invitation only, a $4,000 initiation fee, $225 monthly dues and a one-year waiting list.
Feels like: being inside the world’s priciest humidor. Wood panels and retro leather club chairs rule the décor.

Lone Wolf Fine Cigars
223 Broadway, Santa Monica (310) 458-5441
Founded by: Jim Belushi and Chuck Norris, in 1996. David Weiss bought it in 2000.
Capacity: About a dozen.
Brands: More than 100, including its own Lone Wolf cigars.
Best-seller: Lone Wolf Lobo Fuerte ($8).
Cigar lockers: No. However, Weiss says, “We do take care of a select clientele.”
Claim to fame: The store provided the backdrop for the opening shot of “Rounders.”
Feels like: jock-meets-shabby chic. A booze-free sports bar with a humidor.

Buena Vista Cigar Club
9715 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills (310) 273-8100
Founded by: George Hamilton, in 1995. Rigo Fernandez bought the operation in 2000.
Capacity: 40.
Brands: 30, in 70 sizes.
Best-seller: Camacho Figurabo ($9).
Cigar lockers: No.
Claim to fame: The only stand-alone bar in Los Angeles that allows cigar smoking.
Feels like: you’re getting away with something in the dark upstairs bar.

Cigars by Chivas
58 S. DeLacey, Pasadena (626) 395-7475
Founded by: Former attorney Anto Kamarian, in 1995.
Capacity: 20.
Brands: 62.
Best-seller: Davidoff Anniversario No. 3. ($18).
Cigar lockers: 86. Annual rental is $300 and first-timers must also purchase two boxes of cigars.
Claim to fame: The back room, for repeat customers.
Feels like: the smokeshop that time forgot with its chess and backgammon sets, flat-panel TVs and a pressed-tin ceiling.

Schatzi on Main
3110 Main St., Santa Monica (310) 399-4800
Founded by: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Capacity: Schatzi maintains a “cigar patio” that holds 90.
Brands: Next door to Schatzi is Hollywood Smoke, which sells 140 brands.
Best-seller: Owner Greg Shahbazian won’t say other than, “I sell too much.” He also sells the Cigar Calendar, which features retro-classy black-and-white pinups posing with their favorite smokes.
Cigar lockers: Hollywood Smoke offers lockers for $45 and up.
Claim to fame: Schatzi hosts $85-per-person cigar dinners on the first Monday of every month.
Feels like: a restaurant that likes smokers.

More Scene

  • LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:

    'Stranger Things' Team Offers Glimpses Into Season 3 at Netflix FYSee

    In Los Angeles, the stogie trend hit its peak about eight years ago – about the same time state workplace laws made it largely illegal to smoke indoors. Local cigar lounges took the hit hard; one proprietor estimates that for every three cigar bars in business a decade ago, only one is still here to […]

  • 'Pose' TV show premiere

    Ryan Murphy Wants 'Pose' to Be 'Uplifting' for LGBTQ Community in Trump Era

    In Los Angeles, the stogie trend hit its peak about eight years ago – about the same time state workplace laws made it largely illegal to smoke indoors. Local cigar lounges took the hit hard; one proprietor estimates that for every three cigar bars in business a decade ago, only one is still here to […]

  • DISNEY CHANNEL - "Disney Channel GO!

    Disney Channel Stars Meet With Fans at First Ever Fan Fest

    In Los Angeles, the stogie trend hit its peak about eight years ago – about the same time state workplace laws made it largely illegal to smoke indoors. Local cigar lounges took the hit hard; one proprietor estimates that for every three cigar bars in business a decade ago, only one is still here to […]

  • Sweet Spots Post-Cannes Retreats: Portugal, Provence

    Sweet Spots for Post-Cannes Retreats: Portugal, Provence and London

    In Los Angeles, the stogie trend hit its peak about eight years ago – about the same time state workplace laws made it largely illegal to smoke indoors. Local cigar lounges took the hit hard; one proprietor estimates that for every three cigar bars in business a decade ago, only one is still here to […]

  • Debra Birnbaum, Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch,

    Women of Netflix, Gabrielle Carteris on the Need for Female Mentorship in TV

    In Los Angeles, the stogie trend hit its peak about eight years ago – about the same time state workplace laws made it largely illegal to smoke indoors. Local cigar lounges took the hit hard; one proprietor estimates that for every three cigar bars in business a decade ago, only one is still here to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content