Atlanta’s newest cigar bar is not just the city’s best—it is one of the most impressive in the world. This is what a cigar venue looks like when every feature is well-thought-out and executed with no expense spared.
Burn is vast and looks more like a full-service restaurant—which it is—than a cigar lounge. It is located on a prominent corner in the city’s hottest new development, The Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use retail, residential and entertainment community built around SunTrust Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves.
Interestingly, even though the Battery is full of other bars and eateries, and very much open air with pedestrianized zones, the entire complex is smoke-free except for Burn. On the other hand, the Battery allows open containers, so Burn has a bar window that sells adult beverages to those walking past (usually headed to a Braves games).
Inside, the bar is well curated with about 50 Bourbons and domestic whiskies, 30-plus Scotches as well as extensive lists of Tequila, rum, gin and nearly 20 Cognacs. Top-shelf offerings include Louis XIII, Johnnie Walker Blue and The Macallan 30. There is also a good selection of wine, bubbly and draft beer, and unlike many cigar bars, an extensive food menu, with choices ranging from bar foods such as chips and salsa to crab cakes, plus salads, entrées and gourmet pizzas.
The bar area has baseball paraphernalia and vintage black-and white-photos on the walls, plus lots of TVs, giving it a sports bar vibe, while the rest of the large space is reminiscent of an upscale Las Vegas lounge with ornate, mirrored walls, upside down glass umbrella lamp fixtures and a modern style.
Stools surround the large island bar, while in front there are tables around the perimeter opening to the street. State-of-the-art invisible “air curtains” help contain smoke and prevent it from reaching the outside, even though much of the building has no walls and exterior tables open right to the sidewalk. For those who truly want to be outside, Burn also has its own outdoor patio with tables.
But it’s the humidor itself that is the showpiece. Wrapping around the sales counter in an L-shape, it carries more than 300 different brands. Only cigars are sold here, but you can smoke anywhere despite there being no matches to find; this is because every employee, from servers to bartenders to humidor staff, is armed with cutters and lighters to help you clip and light.
I enjoyed an Undercrown Maduro over a rye at the bar while I chatted with Shawn Dirksen, who oversees the humidor.
“When we opened a lot of people thought we only carried Rocky Patel, and they were surprised by the scope. They were also surprised by how good our prices are,” Dirksen said.
Burn Atlanta, of course, does have a large collection of Rocky Patel cigar brands. Everything the company makes is here, but there’s also an entire wall devoted to ultra-desirable smokes such as Fuente Fuente Opus X.
The inside stays relatively smoke-free thanks to an elaborate air-filtration system mounted to just about every vertical surface, even the front of the bar by your legs. Despite the fact that just about everyone inside is smoking, you would never know it.
There are lots more tables in the main dining space, along with a lounge in an elevated loft area with couches only for members and bottle-service groups, and a huge recessed leather banquette for large groups known as “The Confessional.”
Just in front of the enormous walk-in humidor in the back is the members locker area, whose polished wood cubbies open in back into the humidor for easy reloading. There is also a large, glass retail display case of high-end tobacco accessories, including Brizard leather products made just for Rocky Patel.
Pretty much everything a cigar lover could want is here, as owner Rocky Patel took a no-holds-barred approach to the technological, artistic, hospitality and tobacco aspects of his latest venue, and the results are spectacular.
Burn by Rocky Patel - Atlanta
900 Battery Avenue SE, Suite 1000
Atlanta, GA 30339
Open Sunday through Wednesday: 12 p.m. to midnight
Thursday through Saturday: 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.