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Smokeasy Noteworthy News Clips

Rocky Patel Seeking to Bring Burn to DC's Chinatown

Local Washington, DC real estate news reports that applications have been filed with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration and the Department of Health to bring a Burn by Rocky Patel to the 477 H St. NW address. The site is a 10,000-square-foot historic former bank branch owned by Douglas Development Corp., and is planned to be a three-story cigar lounge and restaurant, with a seating occupancy of 250 and a total occupancy of 350.

Interestingly, the next door neighbor at 475 H St. NW happens to be Max Brown, a prominent lobbyist and chair of the Events DC board of directors. Brown's neighboring property is a residential over retail establishment, which is home to the Chinatown Coffee business below, but apparently Brown's residence above. He is in complete opposition to Patel's bid, claiming concerns about exposure of his family and employees to the effects of secondhand smoke that may penetrate the wall between the two buildings that actually abuts his childrens' bedroom. Brown previously opposed the pitch to bring the Royal Jelly Burlesque Nightclub to the same location as the proposed Burn, stating that "The neighborhood’s not interested in a cigar bar like it wasn’t interested in a strip club.” Rolando Andrewn, the president and CEO of Breathe DC, and at least one of the local advisory neighborhood commissioners are other opponents who are beginning to emerge.

There has been no comment from Rocky Patel himself - and it appears this story is evolving. DC already has some great cigar lounges; however, as the original Burn based in Naples, FL (winner of the Cigar Trophy 2014 and voted best cigar lounge in the US) is on my bucket list of cigar lounges to hang out in, I am personally hopeful that a Burn comes to DC.

BLEND Cigar Bar is Coming to Downtown Nashville

BLEND, a renowned cigar bar in Indianapolis, plans to open its second location in downtown Nashville, TN at 506 Church St. sometime this Fall 2015, though the BLEND website claims the target date of September 1. BLEND has announced that they would be stocking "Top-of-line offerings includ[ing] premium cigar brands such as Davidoff, Fuente and Diamond Crown, as well as sophisticated spirits including Balvenie, Blanton’s, Pappy Van Winkle and Johnny Walker Odyssey." President Corey Johnston stated that "Nashville is an ideal market for our upscale lounge experience,” and is currently looking at expansion opportunities to four additional cities.

The Nashville BLEND will be a 2,500-square-foot establishment that promises to be a luxury hangout for those seeking an upscale lounge experience, with imported lighting fixtures from Turkey and custom seating made of premium fabrics, leather and exotic wood surfaces, as well as a state-of-the-art ventilation system and a proprietary entertainment network, the BLEND Entertainment Network (“BEN”).

BLEND Indianapolis was previously a finalist for Cigar Journal's CIgar Trophy best cigar lounge award.

West Harlem's Papa Juan Cigar Room Expands and Opens New Lounge in The Bronx

Papa Juan Cigar Room, named after a beloved, deceased elder from the hometown of founder Junior Martinez in Santiago, Dominican Republic, is one of New York City's hot spots. Located in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan (which is simply Harlem to us New Yorkers!), this small, but cozy lounge is extraordinarily busy with hosting various cigar events, fight parties, numerous celebrities who reside or visit the City, and neighborhood regulars who call this place their second home. Now Papa Luan has expanded its New York City footprint to the Bronx.

Papa Juan Cigar Room Bronx has opened its doors at 886 Gerard Ave, with a grand opening event on August 6, but officially opened on July 30. Just like the Harlem location, Papa Juan Bronx will offer the perfect atmosphere for business or relaxation over a good cigar with your personal choice of libations. Papa Juan also offers a variety of the world’s most exclusive cigars from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras, as well as its own house blend - which happens to be absolutely fantastic.

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