The most tony of towns in Southern Connecticut now has a new cigar oasis.
A Davidoff Cigar Lounge opened in Greenwich, Connecticut last week, welcoming its first members and visitors to 2,700 square feet of cigar-friendly space. It's the fifth Davidoff lounge in the United States.
The lounge, located on East Putnam Avenue (which local old-timers refer to as Boston Post Road), resides on the ground floor of a 140-year-old building that was fully renovated in the 1980s and extensively reworked for this project. The facility has a conference center, couches and chairs, retail counter, kitchen, and humidified lockers for members. There is limited parking during the day but ample parking after 5 p.m. Considerable cost and effort was concentrated into the ventilation so as to keep the smoke clear in the lounge and away from neighbors who might not appreciate the aroma of a Davidoff Nicaragua Toro.
The lounge is a partnership between Davidoff, Michael Cafagno of the Tobacconist of Greenwich Ltd. (a retail store located about a mile down the road from the lounge), and local businessman Michael Stelluti. Plans for the lounge came together in considerably quick time. The idea was spawned during a March discussion between Cafagno and Richard Krutick, director of marketing for Davidoff of Geneva USA.
"I said, ‘What does it take to build a lounge?'" said Cafagno during a smoky interview in his cigar shop, located a few feet from the high-profile shopping mecca that is Greenwich Avenue. A deal for the space was done within a month. A lease was soon signed. "The day after we signed the lease," said Cafagno, "we demoed the entire place."
Tobacconist of Greenwich, a cigar shop that dates back 40 years, is small, with a few seats for customers to puff what they purchase. In contrast, the new Davidoff lounge is vast, able to accommodate dozens of cigar lovers at one time.
"We're a sanctuary where you can smoke," said Stelluti.
Access to the lounge is limited to members, but there is a wide range of membership options available, including day passes ($50). A one-year membership, with a locker, sells for $3,000 and gives one access to the members' lounge. There were also lifetime memberships, but Cafagno said those had already sold out.
Cafagno said he would put a cap on memberships. "Our goal is to keep it at a comfort level," he said, "not see how many people we can fit."