Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Walnut Street is smokin' again with cigar bars

The 1500 block will have two cigar bars soon.

Walnut Street is smokin' again with cigar bars

AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis

The cigar bar - that pre-millennial curiosity - is coming back.

While Holt's Cigar at 1522 Walnut St. prepares for the September premiere of Ashton Cigar Bar upstairs, restaurateur Alberto DelBello has set up Club Adesso Lounge on the second and third floors of his Tira Misu Italian restaurant at 1519 Walnut St.

Yes, right across the street.

DelBello has installed leather couches and chairs, flat-screen TVs, a bar, and a humidor. He also assures good ventilation.

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As for Ashton: Holt's owner Robert Levin, his son, Sathya, and daughter, Meera, are planning to offer 200 different cigars in a totally renovated spac that was, until February 2012, a cigar bar known as Mahogany on Walnut. (Ashton is the brand of a signature Holt's cigar.)

New York designer Bentel & Bentel, which won a 2012 James Beard Award for its renovation of Manhattan’s Le Bernardin, went with leather chairs, second-floor street views, and walk-in humidor. The bar's reps say that light from floor-to-ceiling front windows reaches to the back, along an 18-seat white marble serpentine bar and surrounding high-top tables.  There are two flat-screen televisions behind the bar and a 3-D wooden piece of art from local painter Michael P. Rocco depicting rolling tobacco fields.

The Levins also want to reach out to nonsmokers with 200 whiskeys, signature cocktails and a state-of-the-art air-purification system.

All told, general manager David Marks (Silk City, N 3rd) has ordered 300 spirits plus six draft beers and 20 more in bottles, a variety of eight to 10 wines by the glass, and charcuterie and cheese plates.

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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