Cigar and Cufflinks: This Unique Houston Lounge Lets Cigar Lovers Smoke Under the Stars
When you imagine a smoke lounge, the typical picture is of a cozy room with leather arm chairs, snifters of brandy, and clouds of smoke hanging in the air. Jerry Hall, a cigar lover and entrepreneur, is aiming to change all that with his innovative and fun new cigar lounge. We sat down with Jerry to learn more about his lounge on wheels.
Jerry is a friendly Houston native who found a creative way to bring the cigar-smoking experience anywhere. For him, cigars aren't just a business, they're a passion. "I've been into cigars since the late 90's," he explains, "I wanted to have my own business where it didn't feel like work."
For Jerry, the traditional just wouldn't cut it. "In Houston you would just be a cigar shop, or you can sell alcohol meaning you would be a bar. You couldn't combine them." This limitation only helped to inspire him. Brainstorming places where the two could be combined, he thought of personal places – the home and the car. Although drivers should never drink, premium chauffeured services, like limousines, have long allowed passengers to pop a bottle of champagne in celebration while sitting in the back seat. "So that is where I came up with the idea of being mobile," Jerry says. "Innovative!" Now he just needed a way to bring his idea to life. Further inspiration wasn't far behind. "The vehicle that I am using actually came to me because I was watching a NASCAR race," he shared, "I just happened to focus on this huge vehicle that I saw on the center field of this race track, and I saw people standing on that vehicle. I thought, Wow!"
Inside the Mobile Lounge
While Cigars & Cufflinks isn't the first mobile cigar lounge in the country, it stands out from the crowd. It is a lot bigger than most other mobile lounges, for one, and thanks to the double-decker concept, guests have options on how they'd like to enjoy their evening. "There is an internal staircase that takes you up," he describes with enthusiasm, "you can sit on the roof and enjoy your cigar under the stars." If guests want a more intimate experience, they can head down to the main level. This is one of Jerry's favorite places to relax. Sitting in one of the lounge's "thrones," custom designed high-backed chairs covered in red leather, he can, "Just sit in there as a time to escape, enter your own thoughts and enjoy your cigar and be in a different world."
An important part of making the interior of the mobile lounge so inviting is that, despite the enclosed space, Jerry makes sure that the smoke from the cigar lovers do not get overwhelming by using Rabbit Air's MinusA2 air purifiers. Flipping through the pages of Cigars & Cufflinks magazine, Jerry came across one of our ads and was struck by how the image of a man enjoying a cigar in a comfortable leather chair matched his own ideal way to enjoy a cigar. By luck a friend had one of the purifiers in his home. Jerry recalls, "I asked him, "How do you like it? Does it work?" He just said he loved it. That's when I reached out to Rabbit Air."
Soon he had installed two of Rabbit Air's MinusA2 air purifiers, and patrons definitely noticed. "They step on board and say, "How come it's not overly smoky in here? It doesn't smell like you had a lot of people in here smoking." I point out the Rabbit Air." Hoping to get a third air purifier soon, Jerry notes that the Rabbit Air does more than just filter out smoke. "Regular smoke eaters are usually big and bulky, in the way, loud, whereas [the MinusA2s] are attractive. You don't even know they are on and they fit in my décor perfectly."
What's Next for Cigar and Cufflinks?
Always looking for new ways to innovate and provide an unexpectedly fun evening for his guests, the future for Cigars & Cufflinks is looking bright. Jerry is looking forward to football season, tailgating for NFL and college football games and providing “The opulent cigar smoking experience,” which just happens to be their motto.
Although Jerry would love to keep his lounge a unique treat, he sees them spreading across the country. "I can see mobile cigar lounges popping up in pretty much every major city," he says. "In 5 years, I am hoping that Cigar & Cufflinks is nationwide, maybe have a vehicle in New York and have a vehicle in say, Los Angeles. Just other cities where they are all part of the Cigar & Cufflinks brand." Given the positive buzz his first lounge has generated, we have no doubt that cigar lovers in other cities will welcome him with open arms.