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Stogie News: Find A Cigar-Friendly Location Near You

26 Jan 2011

It often seems impossible to find a place to kick back with a cigar these days. Here in Virginia, site of StogieGuys.com’s global headquarters, our state’s politicians have forced hundreds of businesses to enact smoke-free policies, limiting the number of safe havens to just a handful.

It was that Virginia smoking ban that inspired Stephen Boyajian to found CigarFriendly.us, a searchable database of over 2,000 cigar-friendly restaurants, bars, clubs, and cigar shops. And so, on December 3, 2009, just two days after Virginia’s smoking ban went into effect, Cigar Friendly officially launched.

“I didn’t really think the ban would alter my habits very much and assumed my local spot, a cigar lounge on the 3rd floor of a upscale restaurant, would be exempt,” Boyajian wrote over email. “Sometime in November we learned that while the location met the criteria of having doors to separate it from the non-smoking section, it lacked the secondary criteria: ventilation.”

“I hadn’t lived in the area very long and had no idea where else I could go,” Boyajain continued. “I talked to a few people on Facebook and Twitter and came to the realization that many people had the same problem I had. It was really a no-brainer from there. I had been doing web development for over a decade, I might as well use my skills to build something useful.”

Steve is a proud member of Cigar Rights of America and a self-described “cigar enthusiast who enjoys promoting the greatest aspect of the hobby: the friendship.” Through Cigar Friendly and his new magazine, The Cigar Network, his goal is “to educate people and bring the cigar community closer together.”

As a cigar rights supporter, Boyajian opposes smoking bans, but when a new smoking ban is forced onto cigar smokers, he makes sure that Cigar Friendly keeps pace. “We do our best in situations like this, although sometimes it’s unclear who is exempt and who is not. When we aren’t certain we will usually call and verify. We’ll also do this when adding a new location if we can’t find proof online that the business is either still around or can allow smoking,” he said.

“One of the best features we added was the ability for site users to mark a location as ‘No Longer Cigar Friendly’. This can be used for any reason, be it a smoking ban, a smoking establishment that simply no longer allows cigars, or even if the location has gone out of business,” wrote Boyajian.

As of this writing, the site has 2,131 cigar-friendly listings in 47 countries and every state except Vermont and Utah (both have 100% smoking bans in all workplaces). To find a location near you visit CigarFriendly.us today, and if you find a location not yet listed, do cigar smokers everywhere a favor and add it.

Patrick S

photo credit: Cigar Friendly

Drew Estate

3 Responses to “Stogie News: Find A Cigar-Friendly Location Near You”

  1. Todd Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    Cigar Friendly is a great service to cigar smokers. Kudos to Stephen and to you for getting the word out.

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    […] even really seem like they were about cigars. I came to this realization  shortly after launching CigarFriendly.us but. at the time, I didn’t give it much thought, continuing to depend on the internet for my […]