In an era of smoking bans, oppressive cigar regulation and increased scrutiny from the public eye, one Manhattan cigar bar, restaurant and lounge has persisted for 20 years. That cigar bar is Club Macanudo, located on New York City's Upper East Side. Last week, the historic establishment celebrated its 20th year of operation. The club, which is open to the public, is one of the last restaurants in the city that allows smoking before, during and after brunch and dinner service.
Owned by General Cigar Co., one of the world's largest manufacturers of premium handmade cigars, Club Macanudo rang in its anniversary with a private party that featured cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a selection of fine cigars, including the new Macanudo Inspirado Orange and Inspirado Black, both of which have been previously unavailable in the United States.
"The excitement was palpable at last night's 20th anniversary celebration of Club Macanudo," Alan Willner, vice president of marketing for General said. "In the highly competitive restaurant and bar scene in New York City, it's no small feat to have been in business as long as we have. The Club was created with the cigar in mind, and we attribute our success to keeping cigars at the heart of everything we do."
Upon entering the party, guests were given a five-cigar Macanudo sampler and a raffle ticket with the opportunity to win prizes later on in the evening. The white cloth tables and fine leather furniture that typically adorns the resturaunt were pushed to the side to make room for the excited partygoers and a jazz band that played softly near the open bar. Regis Broersma, president of General Cigar, delivered a toast and a speech commending the club's longevity and wishing the location many more years of continued success.
Other General Cigar luminaries present at the event included Craig Reynolds, executive vice president of the company; Ernest Gocaj, director of tobacco procurement; Michael Giannini, creative director and director of innovations; Rick Rodriguez, blender and ambassador for CAO cigars; and Victoria McKee Jaworski, director of public relations.
For more on Club Macanudo's 20th anniversary celebration, see executive editor David Savona's blog, 20 Years of Club Mac.