About three months ago If you had asked me who smokes cigars I would have answered, without hesitation “old men at country clubs and my uncle.” My first week dabbling in the cigar world I discovered I was wrong, I just didn’t realize how wrong.
I visited a cigar lounge located in a more affluent part of town over the weekend. Honestly I expected a room full of mid-to high income earning, snobby people listening to the live classical jazz music that the website stated would be offered that evening. What I encountered did not match my expectations, it exceeded them.
The lounge which was tastefully arranged with a bit of eclectic decor, had a posted dress code and we were greeted by a host wearing a suit and tie. As we patiently waited for him to find us seating in the standing room only crowd, I began to take in my surroundings. To my immediate left was a small group of young African-American men; directly in front the door was the entertainment which consisted of 3 band members and a singer, all Caucasian . To my right is a table of professional looking African-American ladies, in their early to mid forties. The group seated behind them consist of older Caucasian men and an older lady.
The groups are engaged in their own conversations, yet every now and then I observe one group interacting with the other, sometimes very briefly and other times at length. Although they are wrapped up in conversations and cigars. Everyone still politely acknowledges the band and gives applause at the end of each song.
I nod in approval as I’m being led to my seat, thinking “ok this is cool”. I divert to the humidor to pick out a cigar and come back to order a drink. For about an hour my friend and I have drinks, conversation, and laughs with strangers. The band ends for the night, and immediately after a middle aged African-American gentleman begins to set-up his equipment to DJ, playing a mixture of R&B, hip-hop and go-go music. To my surprise the crowd doesn’t miss a beat. Just as everyone had applauded the jazz band, they rock, bounce, and bob their heads to the DJ’s music.
In this moment I realize that cigars have the ability to do something that not many other things can do. They bring people from all cultures, ages, and economic levels together in one place with one common interest. Tonight in this moment all thing frivolous were forgotten; someone’s choice in music, politics, and religion didn’t matter. Good conversation and great cigars was all that mattered and I’ll smoke to that.