Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Words, Judith Ecochard

Much like the quintessential James Bond flicks playing on the discreet flat screen panels installed throughout the revamped Beekman Bar and Books, a love of a good cigar is never ending.

On a corner (First Ave. and 50th) that draws in office execs, fashionistas, and casually dressed locals-Beekman Bar and Books- is one of the very few Big Apple establishments where one can legally fire up and savor a stogie.

On a recent snowy December night, we visited and indulged…in an aged scotch (Hine Antique) - selected from an exhaustive drinks menu, and snacked on light fare - a generous cheese and Charcuterie plate and club sandwiches. Our primo spot- in front of a crackling warm REAL fireplace… helped melt away the day’s stresses and the night’s frigid temps.

But the real treat for us was found down a discreet hallway: -the inside sanctum of the smoking lounge.

Even non-smokers will want to check out the space.

Our experience----we were gamely puffing away on a Nicaraguan full bodied stogie, expertly selected and cut by the congenial Manager/Partner Ben Scorah---as we enviously admired the sophisticated interior design that oozed plushness akin to a 21st century version of a high-end private Gentleman’s Club.

As in posh wood panel walls, book filled shelves, well-stocked humidors, sink into leather sofas. Think the cozy library/living room of our dreams.

Going solo? We think this is one of those places where anyone will feel very comfortable- grabbing a seat at the elegant bar or in the smoking enclave.

Perhaps it’s the camaraderie of firing up a smoke, or the convivial seating arrangements…(some perfect for quiet conversations) … but we ended meeting everyone in the smoking lounge---chatting about our favorite Bond films… today’s headlines, etc.

And as a result, we think the Monday night special- free cigars for Ladies (!!!!) (or Scotch specials on Tuesdays)- is a great way to learn about cigars and to meet people.

THE 411
: Beekman Bars and Books: 889 First Avenue (50th Street),

Tel: 212 758-6000

Specialty Cigars: AVO Intermezzo Tubos, Dominican Republic
Montecristo #2 Torpedo, Dominican Republic

Other location: Hudson Bar and Books-643 Hudson Street NYC
Lexington Bar and Books 1020 Lexington Avenue NYC
Tynská Bar and Books, Tynskå 19, Prague 1
Mánesova Bar and Books, Mánesova 64, Prague 2