The Lounge. A place where time slows down to enjoy the finer things. Somewhere we go to sit in solitude or mingle with the herf. When your back is up against five ounces of leather and you can smell the bouquet, everything feels right. And let’s face it, the bourbon your drinking probably doesn’t hurt either. In Chicago, and for that matter every other city in the US, you’ll find commonalities amongst all forms of the cigar lounge. Most of them are either located next to a bar or are “BYOB” due to the smoking ban. Some have small cutting fees or clean up fees because when you’re lacking in beverage sales, the money rolls in elsewhere. Nevertheless, bring your wallet and if you don’t have your fine selection stashed in your portable, these shops will be happy to assist you.
Northwoods Humidors brings you a list of The Best Cigar Lounges in Chicago and in no particular order because like the vitola; the act might be the same but the blends are simply different.
1150 N Dearborn Street
Biggs Mansion is one classy joint and if you have a strong love affair with the cigar you may have already found yourself spending the $75 for a day pass. Recently featured on Jerry Seinfeld’s, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the famous cigar lounge hosts a pleased Steve Harvey while discussing the gold flare to the Daniel Marshall. Steve Harvey calls it “the greatest spot in Chicago”. And if you agree, you may just want to spend the $2,500 for your yearly membership.
Iwan Ries & Co
19 S Wabash Avenue 2nd floor
The opening year of 1857 makes this tobacco shop the oldest one in the country and for good reason. This “smoke in peace” atmosphere is not something to pass up and the $15 day pass will make sure of it. Iwan Ries has multiple rooms for the ever shape-shifting consumer that is the cigar smoker. While your corporate meeting may be held in The Board Room, your mingling is done in The Front Room and quiet time in The Landmark Room.
TESA Cigar Co
1039 W Lake Street
TESA is nearly ten years old and located only six blocks east of Union Park. The leader of the lounge, native Chicagoan Chris Kelly, is known for developing his own blend at the TESA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua; a project he started at the age of 18. This lounge has mastered the nature of being cool and casual and its public feel is suitable for the foreign smoker.
3240 N Clark Street
Blue Havana’s small batch runs and love for sports is more than enough reason to visit North Clark Street. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, their specialty blend crafted in the Nico Sueno factory will certainly do the trick. Blue Havana is a place to sit back, fire up a heater and watch the game.
Hyde Park Cigars
5220 S Harper Avenue
Just a few blocks north of the infamous Hyde Park rests a cigar shop that boasts an inventory of 1,500 brands of cigars, a justification for their tagline, “If we don’t carry it, it’s not worth smoking.” Make sure to try one of the Hyde Park Cigars as they come in five different sizes of Connecticut and Maduro. The shop and lounge’s indoor and outdoor patio is the perfect space to host your post dinner digestif and stogie.
Habano Cigars Lounge
6416 N Lehigh Avenue
One word. Atmosphere. Anyone that has been to the popular joint has certainly mentioned the opened arms of Habano. Not to get this lounge confused with Habano in Atlanta, Georgia, this one is unmistakably a Chicago-run establishment. You go for the cigars and stay for Reggie, the lounge manager. While you handle the room-notes, Reggie will take care of the rest.
Up Down Cigar Shop
1550 N Wells Street
This cigar shop and lounge is one with history. Founder, Diana Silvius started out in 1963 when she opened a gallery that featured a small collection of tobacco. Sure enough, Chicagoans proved their devotion to her little assortment and slowly but surely, Salvius grew the business to the extension that is now Up Down. This lounge is lively and their summer-long series of smoking garden parties are a must see even without a thick one.
212 N Canal Street
This cigar lounge is all about elegance. Conveniently located near the loop, The Clayton brings both tourists and locals, drawing in diverse crowds with chicness. The large windows bring in an abundance of sunshine making this lounge perfect to enjoy in the afternoon. If you’re living in the area or looking to associate yourself with a fellow cigar aficionado, their monthly events are the perfect place for mingling.
Chicago is a place for every creature of habit. Ones who prefer the brief moments of reflection and relaxation. Whether this be with like minded individuals in the afternoon or late night after the crowd’s gone home. Whatever the environment may be, Chicago has just what you need.