- It is important to be a regular in 1 or 2 lounges.
- Until you are accepted and treated as a regular customer, do not try to act as a regular, when you are a new visitor.
- Befriend the store manager or the person in charge of this lounge, along with the bar tenders. At the end, these people are expected to be the best knowledgeable people in this domain, thus will help you choose the best.
- Do not use your own Cigar before you make sure that the BYO is acceptable (Bring Your Own); as some lounges have different policies.
- Welcome new comers; at the end you are considered "Brother-of-the-leaf".
- Never be a show off!
- Some lounges are considered "Library Lounges" (explained below), thus do not interrupt two people talking or someone who is looking for tranquility with her/his cigar.
- Do not try to teach others your own way, unless you are asked for.
- Try to bring your own cutter and lighter.
- Clean your mess.
- Lounges are not considered your own space, so do not use it as your office.
- In the case where you become a regular, do not try to assist a client buying some Cigars and giving your opinion, unless you are requested for that.
As discussed above, Lounges are divided into 4 types:
- Member Only Lounges: it is mainly reserved for members and their visitors. Example of such places: Golf club Cigar Lounge, NFL Cigar lounge, Club...
- Public Lounges: open to everyone.
- Cigar Shops with Lounges: and we strongly recommend that you make sure to check if you are allowed to get your own Cigar once you are there.
- Establishments with Lounges: like restaurants, bars... that have a part for Cigar smokers.
Any of the above types can be categorized as "Library Lounges" or "Sport Lounges".
Library Lounge: It doesn't have a party atmosphere; in such a lounge you can have some relaxing soft music, books or periodicals on the shelves... Some people in a Library Lounge might not feel ready for a conversation, so be careful before you initiate a discussion.
Sport Lounge: this type acts more as a bar or a social club. It can have some live band performance, display of a special sports event...
It is important to mention two things that are related to the customer and the owner of a Cigar Lounge (and Shop).
As discussed above, every Cigar Smoker should be a regular at one or two Cigar Shops and Lounges, for many reasons discussed before. However, being a regular, you need to understand the classification of different Cigar Shop/Lounge owners, and Cigar Smokers.
You can find 5 different type of Cigar Shop owners:
- The professional one, he/she is the typical owner that you would like to meet. He/she is very knowledgeable in her/his business, always up-to-dated with offers, conferences and exhibitions, recognizing you as a regular by keeping something on the side for you at a good price, and sometimes: providing you with a free item to try. He/she is ready for any discussion without violating your privacy when you simply want to puff and read or stay alone.
- The Cigar Enthusiast, they are people who might keep you standing for hours explaining about every single details about your Cigar, from the farm till the factory, the shipping till reaching your hand. If you have some time, just listen to them while enjoying your puff. Once you are a regular with someone like them, you will get special advice and sometimes, might keep rare stogies for you to buy.
- The Weird one, the owner who is selling and maintaining a Cigar Shop/Lounge only as a business without any love for Cigar. He/she was imposed to that (maybe taking the job from her/his father). Moreover, he/she doesn't want to have any discussion, not even to get acquainted with any person. This person might ruin your mood if too much approached, so watch it and keep your limit to only business. From a personal experience, I wouldn't chose to be a regular at a shop owned by similar people, as I am sure no benefit will come from them, not even an advice or assistance.
- The sleeping person, he/she would stay on her/his seat, answering all your questions without even moving from her/his place. Do I need to tell you about such a person?
- The too commercial, which is the person who has all the positive will to answer your questions and show you how professional he/she is; however, he/she has half the Cigar knowledge that you have. Example: I asked someone if they have Edmundo (From Montecristo), she answered: "Oh no we're sorry, we only have Cohiba and Montecristo..." Yeap, believe it...
In parallel, you have 4 types of customers at a Cigar shop/lounge:
- The regulars, mainly common friends with the other regulars (Brothers in the leaf). These people are enjoying their presences and their regular chats, they are not looking for something new; they simply use this shop/lounge as a runaway from daily work, load... They know the etiquette and respect others as long as they are respecting their limits. If you are new, do not act with them as you are a regular unless they asked you to join.
- The "negative" regulars, same as above but they are closed for newbies.
- The Cigar nerds, the worst category for me. They are exactly as the sport statistic people that can tell you anything about the Cigar Culture. Do you want to know the age of the farmer when rolling the Cigar you have on hand? Ask them. I said worst as my idea of visiting a lounge and puffing a Cigar is to have a small quiet time, relaxing there, occasionally exchanging a small talk. Such Cigar Nerd might ruin that peaceful time you have.
- I know everything, Worst than the Cigar nerds, you can meet the "I know everything". These people might interfere and join any conversation without even being asked. They might sell instead of the shop owner especially when they hear you are new in Cigar Culture. Even if you are sitting alone, they might start any discussion with you to show you that they know about your Cigar.
Cigar Shop Awesome Signs
This article was mentioned in our Blog in February 2017 (https://blog.cigaretiquettepro.com). However, as I really like it, I am copying it below so that it helps to identify the main "awesome" points that we should find in our Cigar Shop.
As we discussed earlier, it is preferable that each Cigar smoker to have one or two places as their favorite. Think that you should be a regular at your local favorite place that we call B&M (Brick & Mortar, or Buying & Merchandising Store, which is the local shop where you buy your Cigars and Accessories). But what are the traits or Characteristics of a good shop/lounge that we will feel comfortable calling it "Our Regular"?
When you enter the shop, you should feel and smell the aroma of a good cigar. The smell cannot be a disturbing one as it will give a sign of a bad store (or sometimes, of excessive "Cigarette" with bad Air Purifying.)
Upon arrival, the staff and owner are calling you by name, which will let you know that you are a regular, and that they really care for you in person. This is not about knowing the name of the customer, this is about understanding their needs. When the shop owner/staff will call you by name, it means they are ready to take care of your special brand, keeping them hidden if they are rare, providing you with a free sample from time to time, involving you in a certain promotion for a deduction...etc.
The owner is not someone who considers his business as "a business". He/She will always be sitting with her/his customers, talking to them, caring for their stories, ready at any point for any advice or information... It is a Culture that everyone is ready to live and share.
Whenever you need an advice or recommendation, you know that this place has some "Aficionados" who are not only selling but ready at any point to provide professional touch. Believe me, the "Know How" is very important with Cigar owner and seller; you can't imagine the feeling you might have when the seller has no clue of what you're saying.