About the only thing at Bo’s Cigar Lounge in Torrance, California that immediately reminds you of the pandemic is the requirement that visitors wear a mask “to go inside the humidor.” That seems little enough bother given that Bo’s, like many other businesses, had to navigate a roller coaster of opening and shutting for more than a year. For a time, Bo’s had the equivalent of curbside delivery when no customers could go be inside, selling cigars through the store’s window.
“We’ve been in business quite awhile,” says owner Bouzine “Bo” Mouissat. “We don’t have customers, we have friends.” Mouissat says such relationships helped the store manage through the Covid months.
California “reopened” on June 15, and Bo’s once again resembles what we all cherish. The cigar lounge is back to being a place to go, relax and enjoy a fine smoke.
The building that houses Bo’s is fairly unassuming, kind of a block of white stucco in downtown Torrance. Step inside and you’re in familiar territory. Overstuffed chairs, about 20 in all (more seating is brought in for events, such as cigarmaker visits), await along with four TV screens, plus one more in the restroom. The Dodgers are on and so are the NBA playoffs. Attentions are split.
Bo’s does not allow visitors to smoke cigars not purchased there, but there is no mimimum buy requried. Find a chair, then don your mask and go into the humidor. Spend the time to get to know the extensive selection of premium cigars. Right there on the left, start with Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona, Super Belicoso or PefecXion No. 2. Casa Cuba and Fuente Chateaus round out the considerable Fuente selection. Or you could choose one of many Davidoff offerings. The big brands all seem to be here right now: Padrón, Ashton, Oliva, Liga Privada, My Father and Flor de Las Antillas, Macanudo, Rocky Patel, Plasencia, Punch, Cohiba, Oscar, Diesel. One notable exception is La Flor Dominicana. The supply chain is still erratic, Bo’s managers explained.
Before Bo’s, there was another cigar lounge at the same location. The humidor remains in the same spot. The front room was redone and the domed ceiling is now painted in the faux style done with sponges. The walls are adorned with sports memorabilia, including a sneaker once worn by former Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal, and one from Kobe Bryant. There are a bunch of Dodgers bobbleheads. Soft drinks can be purchased. It’s all very familiar. Very comforting. If you’re hungry, Bo’s allows guests to bring in food in from the local restaurants. There’s a very, very good Oaxacan eatery just a block away.
Bo’s has a small room in the back for members that houses more than 50 lockers. The large ones can be had for $600 a year; the smaller one for $420. Each requires a spend of $150 a month. Members get a 10 percent discount on all merchandise and dibs on new selections.
Bo’s is located about a dozen miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. (Don’t confuse it with the other Bo’s in Bellflower to the east.) It’s the lounge that residents of surrounding cities like Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Compton, and even Long Beach would easily find as a cigar sanctuary. Equally important, Bo’s is close enough to the 405 freeway that if—oh no!—you find yourself in horrible traffic, you’ve got an easy pit stop to wait out the wait.
Bo’s Cigar Lounge
1305 Sartori Ave., Ste B
Torrance, CA 90501
Friday & Saturday: 10am—11pm