Northwoods Humidors is happy to have some of our products at one of our favorite cigar lounges in the Chicago area, A Cuban Experience run by partners Bill McCaffrey, Luis Carbonell and daughter and son-in-law Jaime and John Miceli. Last week we were lucky to sit down with Bill's wife, Dorothy McCaffrey to get the scoop on the retail shop and lounge in Waukegan, Illinois!
NH: You opened your shop and lounge in 2016 in Waukegan, Illinois -- how has that been going?
DM: We have been very pleased with our growth. We started with about 15 boxes of cigars in the humidor and after a few months it was full! We designed and built the humidor and built out the lounge with our own funds, so filling the humidor was a gradual process, selecting each cigar brand very carefully. We have become a destination lounge for our local community as well as Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin.
NH: Can you tell our audience a little about your shop and which cigar brands you're offering for sale?
DM: We have a large, comfortable lounge for people to come in for their favorite cigar! We have 23 lounge chairs, 2 high top tables, a couch and love seat. Wi-Fi is available, so people can actually work from the lounge as well as use their electronics for their leisure. We do have a BYOB so you can pair your cigar and favorite beverage and you can bring in your own snacks/food. Smoke Free Illinois prevents us from selling food or alcohol. We have a wide variety of cigars to choose from: Perdomo, Plasencia, CLE, My Father, Padron, Rocky Patel, Leaf/Oscar Villadares, Kristoff, Gurkha, Oliva, Miami, Drew Estate, La Palina, Tatuaje, L’Atelier, AJ Fernandez, Micallef, and Atsiniki.
We received our Manufacturer Permit about a year ago and will be launching A Cuban Experience “From the Heart Cigars” at the IPCPR Show in June. We are excited about finally being able to make these handmade premier cigars available! The initial cigars are coming from Pichardo Tabacalera, in Nicaragua but we will also be manufacturing in our lounge later this summer. We will also be distributing Pichardo, MXS and Luciano lines. You can visit ACEPRIME.com for more information regarding this venture! This site will also link you to our Lounge. We also have 2 domino tables and 1 chess table. We have live jazz every Wednesday evening, featuring Trombone Dave and the Lawn Clippings. You never know who may drop in and jam with them! Our DJ, Hector Ramos, plays at all of our events as well as random times! It’s a great place to chill or visit with new and old friends. Everyone is welcome!! Please note effective July 1, the Illinois smoking age increases to 21!! We do card -- so bring your ID.
NH: What types of events do you host?
DM: We try to do one event each month. We bring all of the featured cigars for the event to our front sales counter. They are very visible and the rep is able to greet each customer as they come into the store. Our reps are very knowledgeable and are passionate to tell their cigar’s story and match the perfect cigar to the customer’s preference. Each event has its own promos that make them unique, as well as each rep’s personality and their following that adds to flavor of the event.
NH: What type of humidor do you use for your personal stash?
DM: Since we spend all of our time at the lounge, we don’t really have a permanent humidor at home! We do use the Xikar travel humidors when we are away. We highly recommend the Northwoods Humidors. Not only are they a work of art, the seal is phenomenal! This is the only brand of custom humidors that we feature or recommend.
NH: What are you currently smoking?
DM: Our go-tos at this time are Plasencia Alma Fuertes Sixtos and any of the Perdomos! Luis says you can never go wrong with a Perdomo! While we may have our favorites, we do try all our cigars so we can assist our customers to find the right cigar for their palates. Of course, our favorite will also be those coming from our From the Heart series!!!
NH: How can people contact you?
DM: We can be reached on Facebook at A Cuban Experience and on our website at www.acubanexperience.com. By phone, you can reach us at 847-672-8088.
A Cuban Experience is located at
119 N Genesee St
Waukegan, IL 60085
We showcase the following brands below at A Cuban Experience: