The second half of the day this past Sunday, Kevin Schweitzer from Rock-A-Feller Cigars and I took a trek up to the Bronx to visit another favorite shop of his – Maduro Cigar Lounge. Located between the Bronx Zoo, and the Cross Bronx Expressway just off of E. Tremont Avenue at 1969 Southern Blvd, Maduro’s is easily found. As we pulled up to the shop, we were able to get a parking space directly in front of the shop, almost like they were expecting us.
Perhaps it is a NY thing, as this shop is also located right next door to a barber shop. I guess, hair cuts and cigars go together like peanut butter and jelly. You would be hard pressed to miss the shop with its black and red awning that has a huge cigar graphic on the bottom, wood pane windows, and solid wood door. The shop front is pleasing to the eye and brightens the neighborhood for sure.
As we entered the lounge, you were reminded that it was Halloween time with festive decorations, including these delightful creatures who kept you company as you burned through your favorite cigar.
We were greeted by Ramon, the owner and operator of the lounge. Ramon is a tall Dominican man, who was raised in NYC, and certainly knows cigars and what cigar men and women enjoy. The lounge is a pure testament to that. Prior to owning the lounge, which he opened in 2014, he worked in a cigar shop, and being of Dominican decent, that certainly helped. After our greeting, Ramon was kind enough to give me the grand tour of his shop.
There are a number of seating areas in the lounge, starting with the seating at the front of the store overlooking Southern Avenue, followed by an area in front of the faux fireplace on a circa 1900’s exposed brick wall, toped with a buck head. Next to the fireplace seating was a huge throne, that would make any patron feel like royalty. There were comfortable leather seats across from the throne and then finally a comfortable leather couch and chairs in the back of the lounge along with a dominoes table. I liked the layout of the shop, as groups of friends could mingle in different areas. The shop has 5 big screen HD televisions throughout the lounge.
The next visit was to the custom made, walk-in humidor that had over 200 facings in it. It was neatly organized and easy to walk around and browse for your cigar of the day or evening. The selection was excellent with many popular brands and a terrific selection of boutique blends. I was told that AJ Fernandez makes his house blend which I was more than happy to try and have to say it was a terrific cigar. In fact, I smoked the lancero version of it today before writing this article and I have to say, it was magnificent.
Upstairs Office and Meeting Area
Beyond the first floor, there is a second floor, private office and seating area that was like a lounge within a lounge. Of course it houses the boss’ desk but also some comfortable seats which I am sure make for a perfect business meeting area.
Never Know Who May Walk In
After the tour, it was time to relax and smoke some cigars. As Kevin and I were puffing away, a few notable cigar men entered the lounge, Mike Shapiro from Doc’s Legacy Cigars and Wayne Clark from Hiram and Solomon Cigars – what a pleasant visit to enjoy a Sunday afternoon in the Bronx, especially since Wayne and I are hard core Red Sox fans. Yea, they let us out of the Bronx, but not without some crazy bumper to bumper NYC traffic!
Rules of the Shop
Some shops have unwritten rules but Ramon makes it clear. So be kind, and and belong to something special. If you are in the Bronx, Maduro Cigar Lounge is one place you should check out.
Address: 1969 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460
Phone: (917) 801-3165