When I was a kid, every summer my dad and I would fly to Chicago. My grandfather would meet us at O'Hare, puffing on a stogie and blowing the smoke out the half-open window of his Buick. The car smelled like cigars, his clothes smelled like cigars, my grandparents' apartment near Rogers Park smelled like cigars. While the smell was a bit jolting at first, I soon found it comforting.
While there are quite a few folks who like the smell of cigars, there aren't a whole lot of bars where you can smoke them. Perhaps the hippest cigar bar around is the Robusto Room (9535 Park Meadows Drive in Lone Tree). It's a far cry from any place where my grandfather would've hung out, though; while the Robusto has a separate smoking room and humidor, the main bar brings in DJs Tuesdays through Saturdays, at times turning into a mini-dance club.
Closer to town, there's Devon's Pub & Cigars (4992 East Hampden Avenue), which started off as a cigar shop, then became a pub over a decade ago. This low-key neighborhood bar in the Happy Canyon Shopping Center has seen its fair share of Denver Broncos, including quarterbacks John Elway, Jay Cutler and Jake Plummer; since the two owners are golf aficionados, a lot of golf memorabilia lines the walls. While other cigar bars have separate smoking rooms, Devon's entire bar is open for smoking, and it attracts a fair number of cigarette smokers as well. The humidor stocks such brands as Tempus, Arganese, CAO, La Gloria Cubana and Rocky Patell.
Another favorite is in Boulder: Johnny's Cigar Bar (1801 13th Street). This is a cozy spot tucked inside One Boulder Plaza, with five humidors stocked full of cigars near the door and a smoking room in the back that sports a few overstuffed leather chairs and a TV. There's also a baby grand piano and a small PA system for live music, mostly jazz and blues, Thursdays through Saturdays.
Club Scout: Another cool spot in Boulder, the b.side lounge (2017 13th Street), will be closing at the end of the year because it can no longer afford its overhead, according to an e-mail the owners sent out. The club had opened in May 2008 in the former home of the Trilogy Wine Bar and Lounge; voted Best New Venue by Westword this year, the b.side brought in a steady stream of local and national musicians and DJs. For its farewell bash on New Year's Eve, the club and folks at Communikey will feature Toronto-based DJ Noah Pred.
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Also on New Year's Eve, VCGH, which owns La Bohème, PT's and the Diamond Cabaret, among other clubs, will celebrate the grand opening of its latest addition, Diamond After Dark, which is taking over the former Wish/Alley Cat space above the Diamond at 511 West Colfax Avenue. Robin Antin's Pussycat Dolls burlesque review will headline the celebration, with shows at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. General admission tickets are $55; VIP tickets, which include free champagne from the 2010 countdown until 2 a.m., are $150.