Atlanta, Georgia is one of the hottest cigar cities in the United States. I could spend 3 months in the city and visit a lounge every day and still not hit all the Atlanta establishments. This past September marked the introduction of a yet another cigar lounge – Stanley’s Cigar Lounge. Technically not a new introduction, Stanley’s used to be known as Cigaros of Georgia but with the pandemic taking its toll they closed and in entered Monica Coleman to scoop it up. It was not easy, as she competed against more than twenty others that wanted the location and in the end her bid was selected.
Once she won the bid, Monica’s vision to create a unique cigar lounge experience was completed in just over 2 months, opening in time for two of Atlanta’s top cigar festivals – the Atlanta Cigar Week followed by the Cigar Mike Atlanta Cigar Experience. That’s what you get from a woman and mom, raised in Queens, NY with over 20 years as an entrepreneur and marketing executive. Monica is quick to tell you that the name Stanley’s is a tribute to her grandfather – Stanley Franklin – from Memphis, TN and the 1st entrepreneur in the family.
Monica is not new to cigars, she has been an enthusiast for over 12 years and being a woman in the business she believes she can put a unique stamp on her new establishment. In her own words:
“Being a woman in a predominantly male industry and assumptions about my skill level and capacity to open and stay open, those are all things that weigh on you. I want people to come in and feel cozy. I want the environment to feel very sensual and inviting and also a bit upscale.”
I visited Stanley’s Cigar Lounge during the Cigar Mike Atlanta Cigar Experience. It was on a Thursday night and the lounge was hosting the inaugural Black Smoke Magazine roll out featuring the Queen of the South – Christine Morgan, who was the cover story of the new cigar magazine. I was able to get to the lounge early enough to take some photos and meet Monica before the crowd started to roll in.
The lounge is located in the South Fulton area of Atlanta, just a short 10 mile drive from Atlanta airport just off GA-6 on Butner Blvd. The location is easy to get to and away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Atlanta. There is ample parking in front of the lounge.
Walking up to the front of the establishment, there are outside patio tables and seats, along with potted plants that make the outside seating feel more comfortable and inviting.
As you enter the lounge you quickly notice the numerous leather seats and tables that offer a comfortable place to sit with friends and enjoy the moment. There is also another seating area with an array of 6 flat screen TV’s on the wall for your viewing pleasure.
There are two huge paintings of woman cigar smokers on the right that personify Monica’s vision of her lounge, letting the many Sisters of the Leaf know they are most welcome in her lounge. There was also a floor to ceiling, blue and green illuminated backdrop, in the front that proudly displayed the lounge’s logo along with a large throne. I am not sure if this is always there, but it was certainly there for Christine Morgan and the Black Smoke Magazine event that night. I kind of like the backdrop as it adds a unique flair to the lounge ambiance.
In the back of the lounge, is a beautiful granite top bar with blue mood lighting underneath. Stanley’s Cigar Lounge has a full liquor license and the bar is stocked with the finest brands of libations. There currently is no tap beer but they do have a decent selection of craft and mainstream brews. I found the bar staff to be friendly and attentive, even on the busy Thursday night event. They also had wait staff that took your orders from the many seating areas. The lounge offers specialty cocktails and also has a kitchen that serves up some delectable bites. I found the prices to be very reasonable. My choice for the evening was a Blue Sapphire, Extra Dry, Dirty Martini, that was made just to my liking and served with a smile.
Across from the bar is a special wall of photos that pay tribute to Monica’s family, including one of her Grandfather, Stanley Franklin, the 1st entrepreneur in the family and big inspiration to Monica in all that she has done. Monica is all about family and with the opening of Stanley’s she now hopes to have another family,, this time her lounge family.
The lounge has a large walk-in humidor that is staffed with an attendant to ensure you find just what you are looking for. Cigars are paid for before you exit the humidor. The collection was large and will continue to grow over time with large and small brands. There are also many minority-owned brands on the shelves, as Monica wants her lounge to be show case for these up and coming brands. She thinks of it as ‘step one to a longer journey with the possibility of more locations in the future’.
Though Monica has been enjoying cigars for 12 years, she is always learning as are all cigar enthusiasts and she notes:
“When you really get into the sophistication of how cigars are made and how a Dominican cigar is going to give you a different flavor than one from Nicaragua, than one that’s Moroccan. There’s so much to learn and there’s so much to explore and I’ve always found that kind of interesting.”
Service and Clientele
I found the service at Stanley’s Cigar Lounge to be attentive and helpful, especially considering the way the crowd grew on the night I was there. The bartenders were slinging drinks non stop and Monica made her rounds through the lounge making sure we were comfortable and had what we needed. The staff did their best to keep the ash trays clean and I also found the bathrooms to be clean which is a big plus in my book.
The clientele was warm and inviting the night I was there. We shared stories and discussed all the normal topics of the day and I have to say we steered away from politics and religion, two discussions one does not need in a cigar lounge. There was plenty to watch on the TV’s but women and men just mingled and enjoyed their visit.
Monica has been quoted as saying; “Stanley’s wants to be the second or third place to visit and relax after a good day“. I say it should be visited anytime it is open whenever you are in the mood for a fine cigar and good conversation. And if you live in the South Fulton area maybe it will become your new cigar home.
Stanley’s Cigar Lounge Atlanta is located at 3220 Butner Rd, Atlanta, GA 30331
Hours of Operation
- Tuesday Closed
- Wednesday 3–11PM
- Thursday 3–11PM
- Friday 3PM–1AM
- Saturday 3PM–1AM
- Sunday 12PM–11PM
- Monday 3PM–11PM
Please contact the lounge to inquire about Membership and other opportunities!
The Atlanta Cigar Experience – Christine Morgan Event
Of course the night I was at Stanley’s Cigar Lounge was a very special night, as it was a gathering of men and women cigar smokers from around the country to celebrate the roll off Black Smoke Magazine, founded by TK Aficionado and highlighting the Queen of the South – Christine Morgan on the cover. Through out the evening, Christine was signing copies of the inaugural issue for those that purchased it at the event. Here is a photo gallery of the epic event.
Special Shout Out to the Cigar Life Guy
Even Dave Arlinghouse, the Cigar Life Guy, made it to the event. Dave, for those that don’t know, is will get you hooked up with inexpensive life insurance with out overpaying being you enjoy cigar. He is “The Cigar Smoker’s Life Insurance Broker”. He knows how to get regular, even daily cigar smokers Non-Tobacco rates. You can check him out at Dave@cigarlifeguy.com or by phone at 404-521-8134. HE is a great BOTL.