In the center of the very trendy Inman Park neighborhood, Highland cigar has been around well before the cigar scene explosion in Atlanta. What used to be the stereotypical man-cave cigar lounge packed with nothing but ‘regulars’ has undergone a slight makeover. The quiet narrow space has expanded to twice its former size with additional tv’s, restroom, and lockers. Located among boutiques, nail salons, and restaurants, Highland has held on to their all-are-welcome vibe with large tufted couches, granite high tops, and mahogany shelving. The windows along the entrance allow for great natural lighting. There’s a single bar to your left when entering and an adequate walk-in humidor straight back near the restrooms. The bar has been upgraded too. At one point in time, it was slim pickings as far as drink selection but now the bar is overflowing with a huge selection of various bourbon, ryes, scotches, mezcals, rums, wines, and beers. You won’t get bored. For you poker fans, won’t be disappointed either because there’s a reserved table for you and your pals to play a few rounds while enjoying a cigar or two.
Humidor and Cigar Selection
As mentioned, the humidor is a small walk in (maybe 4 x 12) with a nice selection of top brand cigars such as Drew Estate, Caldwell cigars, CAO, Perdomo, Macanudo, My Father, and etc. Something that stood out at me was the fact that there’s a shelf with Liga cigars that only Members can purchase. It contains all of your main players from Liga include the Liga 9, 52, flying pic and so on. The waitress confirmed that I would have to be a member to purchase these cigars. I guess it can serve as an incentive for membership but these cigars aren’t a select special release…. I don’t see the value of restricted purchase. The young lady that was assisting me was able to point to other well-known brands, but I wish I would have pried more into just how knowledgeable she was on cigars…to see if she could make recommendations based on what I was drinking, did I eat, or what mood I was in.
A breath of fresh air is not just a cliché line here. Once upon a time, Highland Cigar was your typical local pub where the ‘guys’ would gather and play poker and smoke up the place. While it’s still where some gather to play rounds of poker, the additional space and expansion to the ventilation system have made the lounge more inviting and suitable for various types of events. Walking through the new section I peered up to notice the additional ventilation ducts encircled the entire area. It seems to be more than enough to handle the increase in visiting smokers. I do have to call out that this was a mid-week smoke for me so I don’t know how the ventilation holds up to a Friday or Saturday crowd.
Highland is the place where no matter who you were…. or weren’t, you will be treated the same as everyone else. You find yourself becoming instantly relaxed and making the place home. The bartender on this night was also waitressing but that didn’t extend my wait time for drinks. On the busier nights, I hear that the bartender that is on the scene makes fantastic cocktail classics. I plan to return on a weekend to see just how creative the bartender can get. I’d love to see their take on some of my favorites such as a Manhattan or Boulevardier.
It is amazing what a little space, restocking of a humidor, and a significant investment can do for a place. It seemed that this was perfect timing for a revitalization. With the huge boom in the cigar lifestyle here in Atlanta and lounges springing up everywhere, Highland Cigar made a perfect move to remain relevant in the conversation of ‘Where one should smoke’. It’s good to see one of Atlanta’s oldest cigar lounges still alive and kicking with life. Now with all this new excitement that I have for the place, I have to mention that all of this doesn’t come without a price. During my one cigar visit, I drank 3 Auchentoshan American Oak single pours (with an ice ball). I was surprised when my bill came out to be $45 dollars not including tax…so actually $50 bucks.