The icy rain and chilly winds blowing through Pittsburgh on Friday night didn’t stop Steel City cigar enthusiasts from attending the grand opening of Burn By Rocky Patel, Pittsburgh’s newest, largest cigar lounge—and Cigar Aficionado was there.
The party attracted about 300 of Pittsburgh’s most stylish and distinguished cigar lovers, including Art Rooney II, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. If you’re a Pittsburgh local, you know that the Rooney name is regional royalty, for Rooney’s father founded the Steelers and is perhaps Pittsburgh’s most iconic cigar smoker—which is why Patel decided to add an artistic rendering of the man right in his lounge.
“There’s nothing like this in Pittsburgh,” Patel told Cigar Aficionado amidst the loud music. “I’m hoping to bring new cigar smokers into the fold. About 85 percent of the people who come here will probably be smoking cigars, but the idea was to create a beautiful environment for anyone, and at the same time, allow them the privilege of smoking.”
Like the original Burn location in Naples, Florida, Patel’s new Pittsburgh venue can best be described as an upscale, cigar-friendly lounge with the feel of a nightclub—but there are elements to this 7,000 square-foot venue that speak to Pittsburgh’s identity. In addition to the portrait of Rooney, there’s the amount of steel. Pittsburgh was built on the steel industry and Patel honored the city’s proud heritage by building the bar out of steel and incorporating decorative steel columns throughout the space, which are all dramatically lit to accentuate their details.
“The arches over the alcoves are meant to symbolize all the bridges of the city,” Patel said. While Pittsburgh is known as The Steel City, it’s also referred to as The City of Bridges, as it boasts 446 of them.
Burn is located in a prominent part of Pittsburgh on North Shore Avenue, in between PNC Park (Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates) and Heinz Field (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers). It’s an easy walk from either stadium and a short distance from the hotels across the river in the city’s Cultural District, also walkable in pleasant weather.
Burn has the capacity to service large crowds, and the open layout cleverly leads smokers around the 360-degree bar to the humidor, which carries not only a large portfolio of Rocky Patel branded cigars, but a variety of third-party smokes like Padrón, Ashton and Arturo Fuente. A large picture window into the walk-in humidor is visible from almost any spot in Burn, which, of course, was the idea.
Burn is also offering locker memberships starting at $2,000 for the first year and then $1,500 annually for additional years.