First off, a huge shoutout to everyone who came out to our summer smoke at Studio Square – recap here. It was a great time, and a big shout out to our friends at Hispaniola Cigars, easily some of the highest quality cigars on the market today. Also, for those of you interested in the pending FDA regulation of cigars, check out our ongoing webseries, “Cigar Wars”, which will bring you up to speed.
I want to invite all of you to our next rooftop event at The Ravel Hotel, next Wednesday (July 25). The rooftop has great seating, a bar, and features a gorgeous view. We’ll also have live cigar rolling and a DJ, which will make for a magical evening. This event is RSVP only.
Summer is fast approaching, and that means new FineTobaccoNYC events around the city. We’ll be kicking off this summer season at Refugio Cigar House, hosted by owner and manager Mike Lopez. Below is the official invite that went out to FTNYC advance-notice event mailing list subscribers. If you want advance notice on FTNYC events, just submit your email address on the right side (——->) and you’ll receive invites to our social cigar events in the future.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Leaf,
In the next few weeks, New York will finally be waking up from its winter hibernation to welcome the summer and all that it brings. I for one can’t wait for the sunlight, warmth, and of course, cigars with other like-minded brothers and sisters of the leaf. That’s why I am inviting you and your friends to come enjoy cigars, networking, and friends at Refugio Cigar House on the evening of Thursday, June 2nd for a truly unique summer smoke. Refugio is New York City’s newest lounge, with Cuban revolution decor and a great line-up of house cigars (Yankee, Commandante, Brazileiro), as well as a great selection of one of my all-time favorite brands, Perdomo.
Throw the event on your calendar, and shoot me an email if you are interested in coming! I’ll send out a reminder email as we get closer to the event. If you can’t make this event, don’t worry! We’ll have a great line up of cigar hang outs this summer. Next venue up is my FiDi apartment rooftop (check out theview!)
Looking forward to seeing you all again at the event. Until then, I remain
This Saturday, FineTobaccoNYC members joined my good friend Mike Lopez and the rest of Brooklyn in welcoming Refugio Cigar House to the New York City cigar scene. The night was full of cigars, wine, liquor, music, new friends, old friends, and a great raffle. Business partners Mike Lopez, Carlos Velasquez, and Angel Lugo built Refugio to be, you guessed it, a refuge for the New York City cigar lover. The lounge is styled around Cuban revolution of the 50’s, with military green walls, red trim, and black upholstery all around. There are still a few adjustments to be made in the new lounge, but the space was more than sufficient for the event and everyone had a great time.
The event started at 6pm and ran until roughly midnight. Drinks were on the house, and the owners of Refugio collaborated to bring in food from local shops all over the neighborhood including some great Brooklyn pizza (the best!), fresh fruit, and other snack items.
The special Refugio Cigar House line was debuted at the event, and cigars were complimentary to all guests of the grand opening. I was able to taste three, and really enjoyed the Dominican/Honduran double-wrapped robusto that they had in stock. During the first hour, the guests started arriving, including a few from SocialCigar that happened to see the event invite online. There were also plenty of curious locals of the Williamsburg area that stopped in, grabbed a smoke and sat down to enjoy the festivities.
By 8:00pm, the party was in full effect. There were too many people to count, which was ok because that just meant more people to meet. At around 10:30pm, champagne was passed around and Mike proposed a toast to officially launch the lounge. There were cheers all around. Then, the owners held a massive raffle where first place took home the beautiful humidor pictured below. Second and third place raffle winners took home a sampler pack of Refugio cigars. As luck would have it, both FTNYC contributing writer Guy and I won, so we’ll have plenty of cigars to smoke and sample for the next few weeks!
I was having so much fun I didn’t get a head count, but you can get an idea for just how big the crowd was – at least 60, probably more at one moment, with well over a hundred overall. I was sad a few fellow FTNYCers that RSVP’d weren’t able to make it, but Mike Lopez brought the family so there were plenty of people to meet. FineTobaccoNYC will definitely be holding more events at Refugio Cigar House in the future, so if you are interested head over to our events page and sign up for the event mailing list! I would also recommend dropping by the lounge in the near future to meet the owners and kick it back with a cigar.
On behalf of FTNYC and its subscribers, I’d like to thank the owners of Refugio Cigar House for the great event. Refugio Cigar House is located at 635 Lorimer St Brooklyn, NY 11211, right by the Lorimer St. subway stop (L and G trains). Refugio will also be launching their website soon, which can be bookmarked here.
Last night, FineTobaccoNYC hosted the first Fall smoke of the season at Velvet Cigars on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. By the day before the event, 17 people from all over New York City had RSVPd for the event, and 14 showed up. So there were plenty of people to meet, and even more conversations to have! The event was officially scheduled to run from 7:00pm – 9:00pm, but FineTobaccoNYC event guests stayed much later enjoying cigars, wine, and the beautiful atmosphere set by Velvet’s gorgeous lounge.
Full house! – click to enlarge
Cigars making an appearance last night were mainly Velvet’s boutique blends, although some other cigars from Rocky Patel and Davidoff were present. The cigar of the night was definitely Velvet’s new house blend, the “Bowery” (pictured below) that features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos for fillers, all rolled and produced in a classic box-press style. But, the Bowery is a Maduro cigar, so many guests started with either the Cooper or Astor cigars. Also on hand last night were a variety of wines and beers that guests brought to share.
Among other things, the crisp Fall night was made special by Velvet’s incredible hospitality. For the FTNYC event, Velvet dropped the $8 corking fee and offered four separate raffles. Three of the raffles were for two packs of Velvet cigars, and the grand finale raffle was for a slick, stainless steel double-guillotine cigar cutter.
Personally, I enjoyed the event most because of the new friends I was able to make. It was fun to meet one of the first guests, Dan from Davidoff uptown and hear his story of falling in love with cigars and moving to New York City. I also met a few customers who didn’t know about FineTobaccoNYC and was able to share a bit of my passion for cigars and helping to sustain the New York City cigar culture.
As the later hours of the night approached, guests began to say their farewells and head out the front door and into the chilly Lower East Side night. The event was a great success: new and old friends, cigars, and great conversation. This is what cigars are all about!
You can find the full slideshow of this event here (thanks to Christina Carter for gracing us with the use of her awesome camera!)
If you are interested in attending a free FineTobaccoNYC event, click here for more information! Events are free, but you must sign up!