Casa Fuente, the posh cigar bar on the Las Vegas strip that serves as a showcase for some of the rarest cigars made by Tabacalera A. Fuente, is scheduled to reopen for business later this week when the Big Smoke returns to Sin City. Casa Fuente had been closed since early October due to a major renovation.
The cigar bar resides in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, an upscale mall. The store has two parts: inside is a cigar store with rarities made by the Fuente family in the Dominican Republic (including the house cigar brand named Casa Fuente) and a small bar serving mojitos and other fine drinks. The main sitting area is on the patio, which seats 65 and is located outside the confines of the store.
While smoke inside the store is ventilated by a store filtration system, smoke on the patio vents into the mall. In April, Casa Fuente had to stop patrons from smoking on the patio; smoking there resumed in June but in October, the entire store was closed.
“We had to move a lot of stuff because of the renovation that they’re doing to the mall,” said Michael Frey, who co-owns Casa Fuente with his brother Robert and Robert Levin of Ashton Distributors. “It’s quite a bit. We’re doing a 10-week job in six weeks. It’s really been difficult.”
Frey told Cigar Insider he was motivated to get his cigar bar back open during the Big Smoke, which he called “the biggest weekend of the year” for Casa Fuente. “People have been calling the mall from all around the country coming for the Big Smoke, asking when it’s going to open,” he said. The patio will still exist when Casa Fuente reopens, said Frey, but it will be smaller due to the construction.
To make more room inside, changes were made to the walk-in humidor, allowing more tables and chairs inside the shop. Frey called this “phase one” of a long-term construction project, one that would ultimately put all the tables and chairs inside and eliminate the smoke that was venting straight into the mall.
Frey stressed that the cigar bar would be there to stay for some time. “As part of this whole thing, we just signed a new 10-year lease. Casa Fuente will be around for a long time.“
Casa Fuente has been in business nearly a decade, having opened on April 15, 2005. In addition to stocking Fuente Fuente OpusX cigars (including such rarities as Fuente Fuente OpusX BBMFs) the shop has the Casa Fuente house brand, many cigars from Ashton, including the Ashton VSG, and cigars from J.C. Newman.
This article first appeared in Cigar Insider, a semimonthly, digital newsletter published by the editors of Cigar Aficionado.