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Ashton Cigar Bar, Philadelphia

Alejandro Benes
Posted: October 7, 2013

(continued from page 1)

You probably won't have the chance to see the roof, but if you did, you'd see the technology that makes the air in the lounge clear. Nearly the entire roof is covered with huge air exchangers.

Levin is a stickler for details. As he shows off the humidor, he notes the need for more light on a couple of shelves so that patrons can see the cigars. Levin explains that building the Ashton Cigar Bar was a labor of love, but labor it was.

"This took a year to build after we got all the permits," Levin says, "and it took a year for the city to sign off."

The décor is simple, but elegant. Black leather with red accents is featured in the lounge's comfortable chairs and sofas, with Ashton cigar ashtrays on every coffee table. The stools at the bar are red leather and comfortable enough to watch the entire game on the two TVs on the wall. Dress is business casual, a little more casual during the day than on the weekends. The bar is most crowded from Thursday through the weekend.

The Ashton Cigar Bar accomplishes more than you could expect in a city that is so unfriendly to smokers. It's right downtown and easy to get to after a night out to dinner or a show. The best thing about the bar, though, is that you're going to feel the love that went into making this a state-of-the art destination for that moment you have available to relax and enjoy that spectacular cigar you might not even have met yet.

Ashton Cigar Bar
1522 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(267) 350-0000
Monday through Friday: 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Saturday through Sunday: 12 p.m. - 2 a.m.


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Comments   8 comment(s)

Peter Baenninger — Tierra Verde, FL, USA,  —  October 7, 2013 6:39pm ET

Congratulations!
Looks great and inviting.
Peter


Eric Schwenk October 8, 2013 8:49am ET

Ashton Cigar Bar is definitely needed in the city and its cigar and drink menu is substantial, reasonably priced, and diverse. It has lots of seating and is bright and open. However, I take issue with a couple comments made in your article. One, to say it is a "galactic improvement" over Mahogany is just your opinion and not one shared by everyone, including many regulars who loyally frequented the bar until the owners of Holt's abruptly did not renew the lease. Two, Mr. Levin's comment that [Mahogany] was "not doing the job" is just simply not true. Anyone who went to Mahogany regularly or even once or twice knows that it was packed almost every night, with a waiting list to get a seat on most nights. The feel was totally different and, lest you forget, one that Cigar Aficianado enjoyed as well: http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/1664/p/1

Newer doesn't always mean better. I think Tom Piazza, owner of Mahogany, did a great job with the old bar and I personally loved the old English library feel, as did almost everyone whom I have spoken with recently. Ashton is nice as well and has a better air purification system and a more extensive cigar list with better prices. We should acknowledge both Mahogany and Ashton as being top-notch cigar bars who provided Philly with its only escape from the anti-smoking laws, but there is no need to bash Mahogany just because they were replaced by another name, especially considering people loved the old bar. Just ask Mr. Hylton, who called it the "genuine article" in CA's 1998 review.


William H. Magill October 8, 2013 10:50am ET

Even though I'm a long-time Holt's customer, I had no previous experience with Mahogany, so tonight I'll be comparing notes with my son (who does) when I meet him at Ashton.

I'm "one up" on him in that regard, in that I've been to Ashton several times since it opened last month.

We tend to be on opposite schedules, so I've been at Ashton shortly after opening till dinner. Each time it has been comfortably empty -- meaning I get to pick the soft seat that I want!

Sitting there observing the other customers, it is quite clear that they are enjoying themselves. The wait-staff are very pleasant and even managed to figure out with the bartender what I was talking about when I asked -- "Do you have that other Rum drink from Brazil that isn't a Mojito." The answer was, "No, we don't have the makings for a Caipirinha." (i.e. no cachaça). But the "Mi Amor Mojito" was quite tasty, even if I did keep getting the Mint stalk in my eye! (too lazy to take it out. lol.)
(It was unseasonably warm on my last visit so a tribute to Papa seemed appropriate.)

Tonight it will be back to my personal passion -- single malt Scotch!


LES MANN — East Providence, Rhode Island, UNITED STATES,  —  October 9, 2013 9:47am ET

Looks terrific! All the best of luck!! Looking forward to seeing it in person!


joe sarcone — staten island, ny, usa,  —  October 9, 2013 5:57pm ET

Congratulations!
Looks great. love to have one here !!! in Staten island NY.


Alejandro Benes — Newbury Park, CA, USA,  —  October 9, 2013 6:08pm ET

Hey, Eric Schwenk, I appreciate your comments and your passion, however, while that which I wrote is my opinion, it is not "just my opinion." As you'll note, "galactic improvement" is in quotation marks. I am not the one who said that. That was said by one friend at a gathering of several others who shared the opinion that over the years Mahogany just wore out. I share that view. Mr. Levin's view is that Mahogany was not doing the job and I put that in as an explanation, vague as it might be, for why what was became what is. So, in 1998, Mahogany was something from what I -- Wil Hyton -- observed. In 2008 and other times prior to and after that, it was not that same something that I observed in 1998. That Mahogany filled a need is unquestionable. That Ashton Cigar Bar fills a need is clear. While you and I would perhaps quibble over what's better, what's there now is great. Thanks for reading all the words!!!


Eric Schwenk October 9, 2013 7:04pm ET

Agree that Ashton fills a need and is certainly nice and clean and inviting. I was more just sticking up for Mahogany than anything else. I have already frequented Ashton several times and had a great time each occasion. They certainly did not overlook any detail. Cheers to that!


Bj Marchese January 28, 2014 7:11pm ET

BJ MARCHESE/PHILADELPHIA

I visited the Ashton cigar lounge last week with my wife.both my wife and i had a great time.wow!!! what a beautiful place .You must try this place .you wont be sorry...


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