‘Home away from home’

tporter@lsjournal.comJuly 3, 2014 

Cassie Rogers did it for the customers who frequent the Cigar Room.

The business at 108 S.E. Third St. in downtown Lee’s Summit expanded earlier this year to add more space for a lounge area complete with Wi-Fi capabilities and a television.

Regular Eric Boswell of Lee’s Summit believes Rogers did it for him and his stogie-smoking comrades who frequent the spot for friendly banter, a friendly smoke or two and even friendlier games of poker, or as much as a game of poker could be considered friendly.

Some – such as Boswell – even stop by during the day to set up a temporary office space.

Nevertheless, the Cigar Room has become a go-to spot for cigar lovers from all walks of life in the five years it’s been in the downtown area.

“I started coming in here about three years ago, and I’ve met people that are now going to be life-long friends,” Boswell said. “We all have very different backgrounds and different things that doesn’t necessarily keep us in common, but this is the one thing that keeps us coming in here and enjoying the camaraderie.”

Rogers said the idea when she decided to forgo storage space to add the additional lounge space was to keep her regulars coming back and to entice newbies to relax and enjoy their smoke. The addition added to an existing lounge area, but the new space provided customers with a new experience.

“I wanted to design an area – because I have a lot of guys that come in here during the day and work – where they can plug in their laptops and work,” Rogers said of why she expanded. “Then also, there is another table that turns into a poker table because I have a lot of guys that come in here every Friday night to play poker. It was kind of two-fold.”

“I think she did that (expansion) for us,” Boswell added. “It’s pretty nice. She expanded back here and put in a TV. It’s been nice.”

First time customer Anthony Arnone – he called himself a cigar novice – shopped for premium cigars in preparation for his sister’s wedding July 5. He came away impress with the Cigar Room’s offerings.

“I enjoyed the visit very much,” Arnone, an Olathe native now living in Lee’s Summit, said of his experience. “They have a big selection, a great big walk-in humidor and excellent customer service, too.”

For repeat customers such as Boswell, he said a total of about 10 people rotate in and out of the Cigar Room on a regular basis, puffing on cigars, chatting and playing poker, among other activities.

“Everybody’s got different tastes,” he said. “That’s the nice thing about her humidor; she stocks a lot of different things for everybody. It makes it nice. It kind of feels like a home away from home.”

“I think some of it is sort of the camaraderie,” added Rogers. “Also, it’s just kind of one those things if you’re sitting down and smoking a cigar, it kind of forces you to chill. My customer base, I have everything from college students up to retired (workers) so no matter what someone does in terms of profession or age, the common denominator is cigars.

“A lot of the guys that hang out in my back lounge have developed a friendship over the course of the last few years. It runs the gamut. Anybody can get into and do it.”

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