About 21 miles Southwest of Manhattan, NY lies the city of Rahway, NJ. The 3.9 square mile city dates back to 1664 when the English purchased a tract of land from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. Tradition states that the city was named after Rahwack, a local tribal chief.
The city lays claim to some notable people over the the centuries, including; Carl Sagan – Graduate of Rahway High School, Nikola Tesla – Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company, Karl Sutter – Creator of Sons of Anarchy was born in Rahway; Milton Friedman – Noble Award Winning Economist grew up in Rahway and was a graduate of Rahway High School. It is even said, George Washington stopped at the historic Merchants and Drovers Tavern in Rahway on the way to his inauguration.
Throughout time, Rahway has been a cross roads to history and through those years, the city has seen its fair share of economic depressions and revivals. Since the 1990’s, Rahway has been going through its latest revival and re-gentrification. The downtown section has been cleaned up and new shops, restaurants, and hotels have opened and are thriving. One of those is Sticks Cigars Lounge owned by Daniel Nina and Chris Rodriguez. The lounge is located right in the center of town, just a short walk from the Rahway Junction train station, which makes Sticks Cigars Lounge an easy $9.00 train ride from Penn Station NY. The establishment is also easily accessible from the NJ Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway.
Sticks Cigars Lounge
Sticks Cigars Lounge was the brain child of owner Daniel Nina. I met Daniel earlier in the year at the DBL Cigars Retailers and Friends event in the Dominican Republic. Let me say, if you know Daniel as I do, you will understand who this tall Dominican man with an infectious smile is all about. He prides himself in offering only the best experience and gives his all to make it happen. He is also a decorated fireman in Elizabeth, NJ which is what he does on his days away from the lounge.
Sticks Cigars is about to celebrate their 2nd anniversary this coming August. The partners wanted to create a lounge that offered the consumer an impeccable cigar experience and in doing so, they put in place what they considered the 4 key elements of a luxurious establishment that welcomes all and all are welcome:
- Hours of Operation
- Air Cleaning System
- Customer Service
I have to say, Sticks Cigar Lounge excelled at each element.
When you enter the lounge you can’t help but notice how spotlessly clean it is. Daniel told me he has a cleaning crew come in every morning to keep it looking like the day it was opened. It is bright and fresh with plenty of comfortable and plush leather chairs, shiny chrome ashtrays, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and polished wood floors. The walls are adorned with classic pictures and photos that add to the overall ambiance of the lounge.
The lounge does not serve alcohol or food, but like most lounges in the area, you can bring your own if you so choose. They have a beautiful granite top bar with a centerpiece espresso/cappuccino machine. The lounge also has a card table and a dominoes table that you can reserve for use with your friends and other patrons. Daniel knows his customers for sure!
In designing the lounge, Daniel wanted to make sure it was virtually smoke free, so when he looked at ventilation and smoke eaters, they made the decision to add 4 smoke eaters for the 750 sq-ft of lounge space. That decision worked out spectacularly, as the air was clean and there was no stale aromas, even on the morning after a big night when we went in. To add to that, the filters are replaced at faster intervals than is normally recommended. They also have a coat room separate from the lounge area so your outer garments do not absorb any smoke odors.
The Back Patio
At the rear of the lounge is a wooden deck patio that has a retractable awning to shade you from the elements. The deck is as immaculate as the lounge and includes comfortable outdoor wicker seating, tables, a flat screen TV, a wet bar, and gas heaters for when it gets a little to cool. I found the deck to be a cozy area and the red brick wall added to the feeling.
Now such an establishment would not be a cigar lounge without a humidor and Sticks has an enchanting one at that. It is totally encased in glass with rows of cedar boxes to hold each facing. There is even a chandelier in the humidor! Where have you seen that? Nice touch Daniel! This is also an inviting display when you stroll down the street. I am told there is about 100 facings of both boutique and popular large brands in the humidor including Sticks house brand , the ‘El Primero‘, which Stogie Press recently rated a 93.
When you do select your cigar de jour, a Sticks Cigars waitress will bring it to you on a silver platter and offer to cut and light it properly for you if you so choose. Now that is top shelf customer service! It should be noted, if you bring your own cigars to smoke, there is a $12.00 cutting fee which is only right considering the top notch service and clean environment you are in.
If you are a regular patron, you may want to join the Sticks Cigars membership program that will run you $750/year and entitles you to a personal cigar locker, 4 beverage tokens/month (soda, water, or espresso) and 10% off all your purchases and 25% off all cigar boxes.
A Cigar Chat with Daniel Nina – Owner of Sticks Cigar Lounge
After our 3 days of driving and visiting lounges throughout the tri-state area, Daniel and I finally got a moment to sit and chat about him and Sticks Cigars Lounge.
A 3D Walk Through of Sticks Cigar Lounge
I usually include my walk through a lounge, but Daniel was kind enough to provide special 3D walk through that shows the lounge exactly as I experienced it.
My Tri-State Cigar Lounge tour would never have happened if not for Daniel Nina. I am so grateful for his support and taking the time to drive the almost 500 miles over 3 days to introduce me to the numerous lounges we visited from NJ to PA to NY. Daniel is the epitome of a Brother of the Leaf. He knows cigars, tobacco, and customer service, all of which shines brightly throughout Sticks Cigars Lounge. His staff is well educated in both cigars and customer service and Daniel himself is a stickler for cleanliness all the way down to the spotless restroom in the lounge. I assure you, if you visit Sticks Cigars Lounge once, you will return again, I know I will!
Contact and Hours
Sticks Cigar Lounge is located at:
1513 Main Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
You can reach Sticks Cigar Lounge at:
- Phone: 732-540-8500
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: stickscigarsnj.com
- Facebook: SticksCigarNJ
Sticks Cigar Lounge is open 7 days a week with the following hours of operation:
- Sunday through Wednesday – 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
- Thursday through Saturday* – 11:00 am to 1:00 am
* You should note there is a dress code Thursday through Saturday. On those days:
- Men must wear a collared shirt or blazer and stylish jeans or dress pants.
- Women must wear dresses, dress pants, or stylish jeans