I recently had the pleasure of visiting a beautiful new cigar lounge in the Los Angeles, California area known as the Continental Cigar Club. The lounge is the brainchild of TABAC Trading Company CEO, Patrick Potter and minority business partner Adam Duffy.
Opened in the middle of the 2020 pandemic, the Continental Cigar Club boasts a large walk in humidor with over 700 facings of the most popular large and small brands on the market along with a 24/7 members only lounge access. The doors officially opened on June 10 of 2020 and since they remain open 365 days/year you can be assured you can always fill your need for premium cigars. The Continental Cigar Club boasts “Cigars & Civility” on all their marketing and I have to say that is exactly my experience when I visited. I found all the patrons to be welcoming and friendly and the staff was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They also declare “Folium De Amantes” which translates to who we are – The Leaf Lovers.
There are two entrances to the Continental Cigar Club. The main entrance brings you into the general public area where there are a few chairs to sit and enjoy your cigar along with chairs just outside the door. The second entrance further down the building is the “member only” 24/7 access. You can also enter the members lounge from the main entry during general public shop hours, through a secret door panel in the shop. The shop area has a wall of fame, with a number of black & white photos of notable cigar masters in in the industry.
The shop itself offers a wide array of accessories for your smoking pleasure including high end cutters, lighters, humidors, and ashtrays. They also have a small fridge, that holds a variety of soft drinks and water. California law does not allow the sale of alcohol on the premises.
As noted, the large walk in humidor in the shop side, is well stocked with over 700 facings ranging from large brands to small boutique lines. Every cigar has been sampled by the staff so they know how best to fit your palate with what you like even if they don’t carry your brand of choice. I assure you there is plenty to choose from. One of the unique aspects of the Continental Cigar Club is they only allow one person or connected friends in the humidor at a time and are escorted by one of the staff. They do this so that each patron gets the personalized attention they deserve and can truly appreciate the experience. I found the humidor to clean, well organized, and properly humidified.
As a Certified Master Tobacconist, one of only 15 in the United States, Patrick Potter requires his staff to get certified and incentivizes them to get more advanced certifications. A framed area on the wall of the shop identifies the levels of certification for all the staff. When you visit the Continental Cigar Club, you can be assured that you are dealing with true professionals in the business. The staff is also friendly and they greet every person with a smile and a welcome.
The Continental Cigar Club also hosts two monthly special events:
- Ladies Night – held the first Saturday of Every Month till the end of the year. +1 Gentlemen Guest are $25 or FREE with Min Purchase. Ladies night runs from 7:00 PM to 11:00PM the evening of the event and require and RSVP through the Continental Cigar Club website.
- The Continental Breakfast – held near the end of each month is a special gathering where the club hosts a cigar brand that is paired a breakfast dish created by local restaurants. The breakfast starts at 10:00 AM and runs to 1:00PM. Ticket prices vary based on the breakfast of the month and require an RSVP through the Continental Cigar Club website.
Private membership to the “members only” lounge section will run you $1750.00/year with a $250.00 credit in the humidor that rolls over year to year. Membership not only gets you access to this beautiful part of the club, but also gives you 24/7 access and allows you to bring a guest. Memberships are offered the first week of January of every year. Patrick told me they currently have a waiting list but people are encouraged to submit applications online to put themselves in the queue. Prospective members that are seconded by a current member are priorities. Prospective members and guests of members also receive a special Continental Cigar Club coin, that is used to be treated to a house cigar and the opportunity to smoke that cigar in the member lounge. The coins can also be obtained from a member of the staff or through one of the participating hotel concierge’s in the area.
Members Only Lounge
The Crème De La Crème of the Continental Cigar Club is by far the Members Only lounge. This spacious and well decorated area is a comfortable spot to relax and enjoy your favorite cigar and perhaps some espresso from the coffee bar which is free to members. Patrick loves a good cup of coffee and you will only get the best from the Nespresso machines both in the members lounge and in the front of the shop.
I found the seating to be comfortable and arranged to allow easy viewing of the 3 large screen TV’s. The seating arrangement is conducive to conversation. There is also a poker table and a boardroom table if you wish to play cards or have a meeting amongst colleagues. There are ample ashtrays throughout the area and the staff comes in regularly to clean them.
Each Member is provided a locker capable of accommodating at least 4 boxes of cigars. Members also receive 10% of all tobacco purchases and an additional 5% off for boxes. Each quarter The Continental Cigar Club has a regular Cut & Light Event introducing a new cigar. This is free to members
Patrick has been affiliated with the military and law enforcement through his life and he proudly displays the emblems of the Los Angeles Police Dept, US Marshalls Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of Justice, and Joint Special Operations Command, along with his own personal collection of challenge coins from related organizations.
One of my pet peeves about cigar shops ad lounges is the cleanliness of the bathroom(s). The Continental has one bathroom, located in the Members Only area. If you are not a member but purchased cigars in the shop, you can still walk in and use the bathroom. I found the bathroom to be spotless with a water saving urinal and a toilet. There is also a collection of men’s cologne above the sink if you feel like giving yourself a light refreshing spritz. Of course if you need to sit for moment, there is an ash tray and you can enjoy being watched by Winston Churchill or just look up and be proud to be an American.
Learn More About the Continental Cigar Club
While visiting the Continental Cigar Club, I took the opportunity to sit with Patrick and Adam to do an impromptu YouTube show that allowed them to talk about the Continental Cigar Club which you can watch here:
Parking is at a premium for the Continental Cigar Club, as they share the plaza with other businesses. I noticed that there were 2 and sometimes 3 vehicles parked in the back of each other, but that is not an issue, as we must go back to the mantra “Cigars & Civility”. Everyone in the lounge knows the parking situation and they have no problem coming out to move vehicles so another patron can leave.
Location and Hours of Operation
The Continental Cigar Club is located at 1716 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #105 Los Angeles, CA 90025
They are open 7 day week from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM to the general public
The Members Only Lounge is accessible 24/7 for members and their guests