Cigar Lounge Plans Berlin Opening

BERLIN – The Globe Theater in Berlin will be receiving a new neighbor next month in the form of a cigar lounge.

John’s Premium Cigar and Tobacco Company plans on opening a store and lounge at 14 Broad St on March 11. While most of the details are already worked out, the owners still had to receive permission from the Historic District Commission in regards to signage.

Before hearing the lounge’s case, however, the HDC took a moment to elect new officers. Ever since former HDC Chairman Bob McIntosh resigned in November, Vice Chairman Carol Rose has been acting in his place. She was officially elected to the position of chairman at Wednesday’s meeting, while Rick Stack, who was an HDC alternate before McIntosh left, was elected to Rose’s old position of vice chairman.

After the brief exercise in democracy, the HDC was ready to listen to a proposal from John’s Premium Cigars.

“We want it [the lounge] to be like the Globe but without food and drink,” said owner John McDonald.

McDonald explained that the cigar lounge was aimed at people who wanted to spend a little bit extra to get a premium cigar and enjoy it in a lounge setting. He and his partner Jeb Deickman said they designed the shop to have a relaxed look and atmosphere like The Globe next door and created signs that would reflect that, specifically, four different signs of various sizes.

“Because it’s a corner lot…it’s allowed more signage,” said Planning and Zoning Director Chuck Ward after some members of the HDC expressed doubt as to whether such a small shop needed so much signage.

Of the four signs, three would be on the building itself while the fourth would be the standard A-frame sandwich board sign that numerous businesses in town utilize.

“I don’t like the lounge sign on the side,” said Commissioner Mary Moore, who claimed the phrase “cigar lounge” made the establishment sound almost like a bar, at least in her opinion.

“The ‘lounge’ part is there,” replied McDonald, “so they [customers] know it’s more than just a store.”

Moore admitted that the business sounded interesting, but would probably need smart advertising to get people’s attention.

“For the size of the building, to me, it’s over signage,” stated Moore after hearing the request for three shop signs and an A-frame sign.

However, the town code allows all businesses to have one sandwich board sign, so the HDC decided to approve that, as well as the words “Cigar Lounge” which would be painted on the side of the building.