New York City is losing its most exclusive cigar club—for at least one year anyway. The urbane Grand Havana Room has closed its doors, along with the rest of the tenants at 666 5th Avenue, as the entire building, which is owned by Brookfield Properties, is scheduled to undergo a massive renovation.
“Brookfield, the property owners, are currently undertaking a $400 million renovation and all tenants have and will be vacating the premises,” Stan Shuster, owner of the Grand Havana Room, told Cigar Aficionado. “The renovation and construction is expected to be done in early 2022. We are currently negotiating a new long-term lease with Brookfield.”
The Grand Havana Room occupies the 39th floor of the 666 Fifth Avenue building, located between 52nd and 53rd Streets in midtown Manhattan. Often referred to as the “The Top of the Sixes,” the private, members-only club has been open since April of 1997 and attracted a clientele of politicians, celebrities and business moguls on account of its exclusivity, cigar-friendly atmosphere and stunning city views. After the smoking ban was passed in New York, the 17,000 square-foot cigar haven became one of the few commercial establishments left where one could legally smoke, drink and eat under the same roof.
The current climate in New York City leaves few viable options for Grand Havana Room’s dislocated members. With the banning of indoor dining due to Covid restrictions, any cigar bar serving food or alcohol had to shut down as well. That leaves relatively few places for cigar fans to light up legally in the “city that never sleeps.”