It's summer 2004, and Stan Neckar, Dave Andreychuk and other members of the recently-crowned Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team are out on the town celebrating their victory, and ready to fire up some celebratory cigars. One problem: no smoking inside the establishment.
"It was when we were out in the parking lot with the cigars that the idea [of the Mobile Cigar Lounge] just made sense," recalled Neckar, who has smoked cigars since 1994.
The Mobile Cigar Lounge was conceived by Juan Guillen, a former tobacco grower. He approached Neckar and Andreychuk with a simple idea: If cigar smokers are forced to smoke outside, why not smoke in style?
The Mobile Cigar Lounge is housed inside an original 1961 Airstream, a camper popular for its distinctive aluminum exterior. The Airstream has been gutted and replaced with a beautiful interior designed by Neckar himself to feel like an old-style cigar lounge.
It features include ostrich leather seating, flat screen TVs with satellite reception, parquet floors, granite countertops and, of course, a humidor full of cigars.
"We stock our own brand, rolled by a Cuban who lives in Ybor city and uses Oliva tobacco, plus anything that the client wishes," said Neckar.
Although the company is not licensed to sell alcohol, clients can bring their own spirits, wine and beer and use the wine cellar and beverage refrigerator to keep them cool.
The 270-square foot interior, which can comfortably accommodate 20 people, is climate-controlled and has a ventilation system to whisk away smoke. For additional seating, the company will set up a red carpet outside the entrance with chairs, tables and umbrellas for shade, if needed.
The Mobile Cigar Lounge is ideal for events such as weddings, company outings, or golf tournaments.
So far, the company only services central Florida, but has plans to begin franchising and expanding throughout the country.
For more information, visit www.Mobilecigarlounge.com.