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Golden Leaf Cigar - Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge, Hobart IN

While cigarette smokers continue to lose their right to smoke in public, cigar smoking has rarely been welcomed - except at such places like Golden Leaf.

This cigar store and lounge, which was recently one of only 40 establishments across the country to be selected a Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge, has long sought to give cigar smokers an outlet.

"Smoking laws are getting tough," John Rogers said. "A lounge like this gives people a place to relax and enjoy their cigar in a place where they are not being insensitive to others. We have leather couches, games; people can bring something to drink. It's just a place to unwind."

Rogers, a cigar smoker, opened a similar lounge in Michigan City in 2002.

Business was so good that he opened the Hobart location three years later and is considering a third site in Merrillville.

"We've been getting busier at both locations," he said. "It just seems like the time to expand."

Through his own cigar smoking, Rogers got to know dealers and now carries a selection of cigars he claims are "second to none" in the region. Included in the high end of his inventory are Opus X cigars, which can carry a price tag of $75.

"We have a selection of 150 cigars and a walk-in humidor," he said. "Our selection is so large, we have other cigar stores buying from us. Our cigars are fresh and we offer great customer service. People can buy cigars cheaper on the Internet, but here we have quality control. Our employees are knowledgeable and we can replace a cigar if it unravels or is not satisfactory."

While it's the retail store and not the lounge which makes money, it's the combination that has made Golden Cigar a success.

"Remember the peace pipe?" he asked. "Smoking is calming and relaxing. It creates a bond among people here, whether they are a farmer or a physician."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Source: Cigar Review

Golden Leaf Cigar - Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge, Hobart IN