Every party requires a party palace. Therefore, the Ultimate Cigar Party requires the Ultimate Man Cave – where cigars are always lit, drinks flow like liquid gold, playing cards litter the coffee table and luscious ladies entertain gentlemen.
If your dame is like mine, you are not allowed to smoke cigars in the house. What to do, what to do? A few years ago I struggled to unearth a solution to combat old man winter and enjoy the sweet tastes of my maduro pleasure sticks during the frigid months.
My home state of New Jersey has an indoor smoking ban, so finding a cigar friendly bar was out of the question and the closest cigar lounge was miles away from my lair. So one day I decided to sac up and tell my wife that I was converting our second garage (detached garage) into a cigar lounge. What do you know? She was ok with it.
How it all got started
I had a 24 foot detached garage in my backyard that was hardly being used. I stored my outdoor furniture in it, some garden tools and the lawnmower. It had the typical garage door front with two small windows and a creaky wooden door on the side. The interior consisted of a plywood floor and exposed 2×4 beams and ceiling joists. It took me
about a month to transform it into the pleasure dome that it has become. (see before picture to the right)
Exterior of the Lounge
My next door neighbor was a roofer, so he put a new roof on the garage, helped me replace the useless windows with two nice double hung windows and replaced the tiny, creaky wooden barn door with a beautiful double French door. Together we sided the structure with vinyl siding to match my house (see picture to the left). The new windows and door provide plenty of natural light and ventilation.
Interior of the Lounge
The unfinished interior provided the optimal blank canvas. I built a division wall that left about 3 feet of storage space between the newly erected wall and the garage door. This left me enough room to discreetly store the lawnmower and garden tools with ample room left for the new lounge.
The exposed beams allowed me to easily run electrical wiring throughout the structure, including a high-powered exhaust fan, 8 receptacles, two ceiling fans and two hanging pendant lights above the bar. I left the ceiling joists exposed and stained the entire ceiling with a dark stain to create a cozy, old-world feel. Next I insulated the walls and covered them with dry wall.
I built an angled bar attached to the wall at the far end of the lounge. It is a simple, but elegant bar with a durable wooden bar top – sanded, stained and sealed. I painted the walls a dark, coffee brown to maintain the dark, cozy cigar lounge atmosphere. I then installed laminate flooring that mimics a beautiful hardwood floor and finished it with baseboard molding and quarter round.
Now that the nuts and bolts were done, it was time to transform the garage into a retreat.
I installed a propane fireplace that emits the perfect amount of warmth for the lounge (suck it old man winter). I bought a small, black leather couch and a red leather captain’s chair (my chair). I added a couple end tables and a coffee table to create a cozy seating area for smoking, drinking and conversing. The other side of the lounge houses the bar with a mini refrigerator and ice maker with two gorgeous pendent lights flanking overhead. Of course, I installed a HD TV mounted to the wall and wired a state of the art sound system with an Onkyo receiver and Polk speakers.
I decorated the lounge with a cigar and martini motif. I peppered the walls with beautiful artwork handcrafted by Michael Goddard, and added some nice black and white prints of NYC and my favorite TV show, “The Honeymooners”. I accessorized the tables and shelves with a vintage camera, vintage telephone, vintage books, a globe of the earth, glass chess board and pieces and empty cigar boxes. I have three cigar ashtrays, plenty of torch lighters and various cutters and punches strategically placed throughout the lounge.
Don’t overlook the importance of lighting. Lighting, along with well-thought-out accessories are key to creating the perfect atmosphere. I have low-lighted halogen lights that emit the perfect amount of light to create the ideal cigar lounge.
Essentials for Your Sanctuary
I created a nifty retreat that attracts guys and gals to the party. If you intend to host Ultimate Cigar Parties, then girls are a must. Most girls don’t like to hang out in garages, so your new party palace can not look or feel like a garage. The décor must be attractive. Your goal is to entice temptation and welcome sinful desires, so don’t be afraid to splurge where needed.
The following items are mandatory for all Man Caves:
Amply stocked bar with stemware
Stereo with iPod hookup and premium speakers
Lighters & ashtrays