Smokin' in L.A.
Despite Stringent Antismoking Laws, L.A. Residents and Visitors Still Have Plenty of Places To Enjoy a Fine Cigar
Jean T. Barrett
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96
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This attractive storefront just steps from Rodeo Drive houses a lounge area with comfortable chairs and plenty of magazines, and a spacious walk-in humidor with a wide selection of cigars. Humidors, cigar cutters and cases, lighters and a wealth of other necessary paraphernalia are available.
The Tinder Box
2729 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica
This tobacco shop offers a wide array of cigars and accessories and has a walk-in humidor. While smoking is permitted in the store, it has no lounge area.
CIGAR BARS AND CLUBS
Grand Havana Room
301 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
You have to cultivate a current member to get into the Grand Havana Room. This exclusive private club, operated by United Restaurants Inc. (which owns On Canon, the restaurant downstairs), was closed to new members last year after admitting 400 who were willing to pony up the $2,000 initiation and $150 monthly membership fees. Once inside the elegantly furnished domed room, you may admire the vast, glass-walled walk-in humidor (with 340 private lockers rented to members, including Tony Danza, Mel Gibson, Joe Mantegna and Milton Berle), sip a cocktail at the bar, lounge in a leather-upholstered armchair or dine on an outdoor balcony. Look for Grand Havana Rooms opening in New York, Miami and Washington, D.C.
9713 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Sumptuously overdecorated with antiques and memorabilia from actor George Hamilton's personal collection (note the red, GSH-monogrammed horse blanket that is casually thrown over a sofa arm), Hamilton's is the consummate Beverly Hills cigar bar. Hamilton and wine-purveyor-to-the-stars Dennis Overstreet (of the Wine Merchant of Beverly Hills) collaborated on this establishment, which boasts a humidor and several private rooms. Hamilton's has a full bar; you can also bring your bottles purchased from the adjacent Wine Merchant's stock for a corkage fee. Appetizers and light snacks are served. Reservations are suggested; jackets for men are preferred in the bar and required in the Raj Room, where entertainment is offered after 8:30 p.m.
245 East Olive Avenue, Suite 100, Burbank
Downtown Burbank may seem like an unlikely place for a cigar club, but Havana Studios draws an eclectic crowd from nearby television, film and recording studios. Owned by Nick Nikkah of Red Carpet Wines & Spirits of Glendale, Havana Studios offers a spacious clubroom, a comprehensive list of fine wines, beers and spirits, a cigar boutique and a walk-in humidor with lockers. Memberships are $750 for the initiation fee and $100 a month, which includes a $50 monthly credit toward cigar and accessory purchases.
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