I recently made the trip to Austin, Texas to check out Treaty Oak Distillery on the occasion of their 12th anniversary. It’s actually a little ways out in a tiny town called Dripping Springs, known to the locals as “Drinking Springs” because of the concentration of distilleries and breweries. While I was in the area I took an afternoon to check out some of the great cigar lounges and cigar bars around town and talk to some of the local folks about Austin’s explosive growth and sudden popularity. It turns out that in Austin proper there is a smoking ban in bars, which limits cigar smoking to cigar shops only, but which also means you can’t get a cigar with your whiskey anywhere inside of Austin. I checked out three shops – one in Austin, one in a suburb, and one in rural Dripping Springs, and each had its own contribution to the surrounding cigar community.
Smokey’s Cigar Lounge
31560 Ranch Rd 12, Ste. 207
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
This lounge is slated to open in late January, but already the owner has been busy with his mobile cigar lounge. The retrofitted vintage Airstream is a popular attraction at local weddings, breweries, and distilleries, a much more enjoyable experience than hiring a cigar roller for your event. The success of the mobile lounge pushed owner Chris Walling to open a brick and mortar location in the growing community. He hopes to be open by Super Bowl Sunday, adding a new stop for folks coming out from Austin for the day to visit the distilleries. The shop will be located right across the street from Treaty Oak Distillery.
Lakeway’s Speakeasy And Cigar Bar
1310 Ranch Rd 620 S unit a-12
Lakeway, TX 78734
Right outside of North West Austin is the suburb of Lakeway, which is not subject to the same smoking ban in bars that Austin proper is subject to. This means you can actually get a whiskey with your cigar here. While Scotch seems to be the whiskey of choice in this neighborhood, there is still a pretty solid bourbon list, including a few special releases. There is a walk-in humidor with a small but solid selection of cigars, but the employees tell me the selections will continue to grow. There’s some sort of electronic gaming set up in the back, so if you want to drink, smoke, AND gamble this is the place for you.
Habana House Cigar Lounge
3601 S Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704
First off, your GPS or your Lyft driver is going to get you to the wrong location – turn at the blue sign with the airplane. But once you get there you will find one of the most comprehensive offerings of cigars I have seen in all my travels. There are selections from Tatuaje, My Father, RoMaCraft, and more – facings that probably number well over a thousand. There are two locations in Austin, both of which came highly recommended to me. This is just a lounge, however – if you want anything to drink, you will have to bring it in yourself (I asked and it’s totally fine). There are comfortable chairs, televisions, and ash trays – all the things you need to relax and enjoy a fine cigar.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl
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