Center City cigar lounge Mahogany on Walnut (1524 Walnut) will be closing its doors Feb. 29.
Owner Tom Piazza, who opened the bar in 1997 says he’s been operating without a lease since August and that Holt’s Cigar Company, the store downstairs, doesn’t want to renew it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who came in while governor of California, is among the many famous faces who have enjoyed a smoke at the old-fashioned lounge.
Piazza says he hopes to soon open a new location “Within a four block radius."
“I have some of the most unbelievably loyal patrons,” Piazza said. “I feel horrible for those people. They’re apologizing to me, but I feel bad for them, that I let them down,” said Piazza, noting that the bar survived two smoking bans and two recessions.
Holt's declined comment on not renewing the lease or its plans for the space.
UPDATED Feb. 18:
Holt's President Robert Levin got back to me Saturday to say that after Mahogany closes, the space will "Be totally renovated and rebuilt," and re-open in 5 to 6 months as The Ashton Cigar Bar named after the popular cigar brand Holt's owns. Levin says the bar will have an updated HVAC system and walk-in humidor