The Cigar Bar
I started smoking cigars in earnest around 1997. I was reaching that stage in my career when I began to travel and would get an occasional smoke on the road and after someone attempted to charge me $30 for an Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente, I started going to Holt’s tobacco downtown near my job for cigars to take on the road.
Above Holt’s was a cigar bar, Mahogany. It was a beautiful cigar bar and was different than the smoking room below. My buddy and I met former Eagle’s coach Rich Kotite who walked over to us, shook our hands and talked to us. It was then that I began to understand this is where the highbrow folks hung out.
However, there was no pretentiousness. There was the expected great menu of whisky for a Center City Philadelphia bar surrounded by some of the most prestigious law firms in the United States. I visited only twice, but I never forgot it.
From 1997 to 2005
In 2005, I moved to Indianapolis. Prior to finding a home, I lived in an apartment not too far from downtown Indianapolis. On the night of the NCAA basketball Championship, I headed over to Nicky Blaine’s. I had seen it during my overnight stay across the street and decided it would be as good a place as any to watch the game. It was incredible.
Located in the basement of the Guaranty Building on Monument Circle in Downtown Indianapolis, you can feel yourself moving back in time with every step down. The red colors and feel of crushed velvet, and velvet ropes and brass railings just sends tingles down your spine.
You open a door to a scene that harkens back to your favorite nightclub scene from your favorite film noir. Pick your actor. Humphrey Bogart (the name is inspired by his character Rick Blaine from Casablanca) or James Cagney. Pick your band. Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie or Jimmy Dorsey. Pick your nightclub singer. Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, or Sara Vaughn. They are all there….in spirit anyway.
The giant mahogany bar. Huge mirror, soft light, leather chairs and sofa’s. everything is perfect.
The Cigar’s aren’t bad either
It’s not the most extensive list of cigars I’ve ever seen but it has a good variety of the more popular blends. Macanudo, Romeo Y Julietta, Cohiba, and Montecristo’s to name a few. They rotate them out keeping up with the most popular cigars. Don’t go looking for your favorite boutique blends though.
Want to bring you own? Sure. No problem. That’s what I did. Just be sure to spend a minimum of $10 please.
You see, Nicky’s is really a cocktail lounge where you can smoke. They make some of the best Martini’s for at least 100 miles. So, pack up that travel humidor and save your dough for drinks.
Happy Birthday to Someone Special
There were not a lot of pics for this posting because this was a review of opportunity, not a planned working session. I was here to celebrate the birthday of the gorgeous girl captured in a few of the pics. She turned 29 and a few of her friends offered to take us both out. Her son (my grandson) was out of town so we took them up on their offer. It was a fantastic night.
If you want pictures and menu’s and more on the history of the place, click the link below.
It was voted one of America’s Best Bars by Esquire Magazine. Trust me when I tell you I have never been to any place like it in my travel’s around the US.
Not yet anyway!
Happy Birthday Sweetie!!