Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BEEKMAN BAR AND BOOKS-UPSCALE COMFORT & A GOOD SMOKE ARE ALWAYS IN STYLE




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