Tuesday, March 24, 2009


On March 21st, 2009, Jolly Bansal of Tobacco Leaf in Lawrenceville N.J. opened the doors to the CABINET CLUB cigar lounge at his shop! The lounge technically opened for business back in Dec. 2008. But this past Saturday, the CABINET CLUB was officially christened as the "place to be" to enjoy a fine cigar amongst friends and fellow cigar aficionado's in the area.
The lounge atmosphere is made to be hospitable, warm and inviting. The deep hue of burnt sierra wall coloring combined with soft lighting from the table lamps and center chandelier create a cozy environment while the full sized leather sofas and classic Victorian arm chairs provide plenty of seating room. Jolly has taken his time make to a worth while cigar lounge and it shows. But more important than the decor, is the people. The Cabinet Club has built a fine following of patrons which keeps the place lively and exciting at any given time.
The official opening of the club brought out the regulars as well as first timers to the place. A host of cigar distributor reps were on hand to provide free cigars and share their knowledge of premium cigar lines.
Overall, a great time was had and good times are sure to follow for a long time!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Jolly Bansal (pictured at left) is the owner and shop keeper of TOBACCO LEAF in Lawrenceville New Jersey. Opened in 2005, TOBACCO LEAF, located in the Mercer Mall at 3349 Rt.1 South, is the result of Mr. Bansal's years of research and first hand experience in the tobacco industry. Prior to opening the Lawrenceville shop, Jolly had been in the business with his uncle for over 35 years with several shops located in Maryland. It's the years of experience combined with Jolly's dedication to providing quality tobacco to his customers that make this shop a worthy place to visit when in the area. "The first thing you notice upon walking in, is the wall to wall humidor with a ton of cigars, I was blown away by the amount of cigars" said Jim Blauvelt of Lawrenceville, a regular customer who first happened upon the shop a year ago. With over 3,300 cigars, Tobacco Leaf is a stogie lovers dream shop. Some of the top quality manufacturers in stock include Camacho, Padron, Davidoff, Ashton, P.G. and Gurkha. In addition to carrying the more common of these lines, Jolly also stocks many of the more exclusive and hard to come buy collections such as the Romeo y Julieta Museum series, Ashton's ESG,VSG and cabinet series, Viaje and Tatuaje. Some of these cigars are only available once a year and shipments are limited. Fortunately for Jolly's regular customers, he's built solid relationships with many of the companies and they continue to offer him their best. "Besides having a great choice of cigars, Jolly has taught me a lot about what I'm smoking and has always helped me make informed decisions" said Tom Newman of Princeton. As a customer myself, I can tell you Jolly sure does offer great advice and provides good information if ever in doubt. "Many cigar shops and stores think that the customers don't always know what they want or that they're not intelligent" says Jolly. "I just guide those who ask me to and I provide my knowledge when needed." The main goal: Give people great choices and great customer service.

In addition to finding a fine line of cigars, the shop also carries an impressive line of Hookahs, pipe tobaccos and cigarettes as well as a full line of accessories including humidors, cigar cutters, lighters, cases and ashtrays. One of the finer lines of accessories is the new Lamborghini collection.(pictured below)

The big news at TOBACCO LEAF right now is that in a few weeks, the cigar tasting lounge will open up! After months of battling the township and health dept., the permits have been granted and customers will be able to enjoy a smoke in the designated area of the shop.

So whether you're a first time cigar/tobacco smoker, a true aficionado or just someone looking for a great gift, TOBACCO LEAF should definitely be on the top of your list for selection and fine service!

TOBACCO LEAF is open M-Thurs 10:30 am to 9:30 pm, Fri and Sat-10:30 to 10:00pm and Sundays 11:00 am to 7:30 pm.

S K A A R!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What's your favorites!?"

Gentlemen...(And ladies too...hey, there's plenty of women out there who enjoy a good cigar right??!)

Hopefully I'll develop a decent following here. (CLICK ON "FOLLOW THIS BLOG" on the right side of the page!)
What I want to say in this post is that I look forward to hearing
from all who keep up with CIGAR CIGAR. Let me know what you're smoking,
what some of your favorite cigars are and some of your favorite cigar bars, clubs
and lounges if you frequent any.
On the right side of the page, you'll notice the logos for a few cigar manufacturers. Those are most of my favorites. If you click any of the logos, you'll be sent to the main page for the company.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Welcome to CIGAR CIGAR! I’ve been anxious to create a blog dedicated to my love of cigars for some time now and just never got around to it. This being an election year, I was pretty wrapped up in politics and my other blog S.W.Y.M Nation!
But now, with the election over and needing a break from all the political craziness which has plagued my mind and stressed me out over the last 24 months or so, I find myself turning to a far more comforting and relaxing subject, CIGARS and CIGAR SMOKING!

I started smoking stogies circa 1996 when I was a young investment banker. Alright, I was actually a young, soon to be investment banker, part of a stockbroker training program, working as a cold caller and studying to get my series 7 license. I worked downtown in the financial district. I was part of that elite group of wannabe stockbrokers that was lured in by the promise of “big money”, “fancy cars”, “good eating” and beautiful women! I was sold the dream of Geko’s “GREED!” The firm I worked for was one of those “boiler room” operations that thrived off of making big bucks by hawking low priced stocks to any and everyone who would answer their phone and stay on long enough to be lured in by the possibility of making huge profits if they only opened up an account with the so called “Financial genius” from New York looking to handle their money. I was good at what I did. Go through my leads, dial the phone, qualify a potential client and eventually, open an account. I was real good. Wasn’t long before I was working for the two managing partners of the firm. Both were heavy cigar smokers. Charlie, in particular. I recall his favorites as being Avo’s and Cohibas. John would stick to Montecristos. Cigar smoking just seemed to be the “big shot” thing to do. Hey, make money, get an office, get your shirts custom made, buy some real suits, learn what a great steak is and oh yeah, smoke cigars! Back then, from what I could tell; like the suits and custom made shirts, it was an image thing. I began smoking when Charlie would offer me one of his smokes as a reward of sorts for opening up a certain amount of accounts in a week or for landing a potentially big client. I wasn’t too savvy when it came to what I was smoking. All I knew was what everyone else seemed to know: Cubans were best! (A cliché I eventually learned wasn’t actually accurate.) Guess I started at the top. My first was a Cohiba Robusto. After that it was a Montecristo No.2. Before long I became familiar with the different size cigars and the various types.
The Cuban connection that Charlie and John had soon became my Cuban connection and I found myself spending $20-$30 per cigar and quite spoiled. (Good thing I actually started making real money!) I got the point where I felt as if I were a legitimate cigar smoker. I had my own box at a cigar shop on the east side of Manhattan. I frequented a few cigar bars weekly, I had my own cutter, and a nice lighter and I even spent some decent cash on a high-end humidor for home.
It was no longer just about image it was part of my lifestyle.
Years passed and I had my share of cigars. I knew how to tell a spurious Cuban from a genuine. More importantly I learned that Cubans weren’t the only worthwhile cigars out there to smoke. In fact, with the changes in climate conditions and many of the Cuban factories opening up in other countries such as the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras, Cuba no longer owned the rights to “the best” cigars! I matured. I knew what I liked to smoke, had my favorite brands and understood the numerous intricacies that went into the manufacturing of a fine cigar.
These days, I'm no longer an investment banker, haven't been for quite some time. But I still enjoy my cigars. I'm not spending $20-$30 per cigar any more (well, sometimes)
but I still make regular trips to my cigar shop and I still smoke at least three to four times a week.
And so, it’s with my passion and understanding of cigars and the cigar lifestyle that I bring to you, my blog, CIGAR CIGAR!
I hope to be able to share with you my reviews of fine cigars, quality spirits, food and other lifestyle oriented subject matter all meant to comfort and provide joy to all who indulge. I’ll be highlighting a new cigar each week and will also keep readers informed about local cigar shops. For those of you who are new to cigar smoking, I hope to be able to educate you and provide you with the right guidance. For those of you who are true cigar aficionados, I certainly hope to share with you my experiences and cigar related wisdom as well as learn from you all. I look forward to building a solid reader base and receiving feedback from my readers!

In this time, with the economy seeming to go down the drain, the markets going nuts and financial stability on everyone’s mind, maybe this isn’t the best time to start a blog on the glorious love of cigar smoking. Something many (including my wife!) might consider an excessive, narcissistic indulgence. But I say…this blog isn’t for them, it’s for YOU! It’s for ME! It’s for those of us who seek comfort and find pleasure in a good smoke!

COMING UP: I'll take you to my cigar shop in Princeton N.J. and introduce you to Jolly Ansal who owns the shop. His collection of cigars is rivaled by few and Jolly's knowledge of cigars will certainly help make your cigar shopping experience a plus!

ALSO: We'll take a trip over to MAHOGANY'S CIGAR BAR/LOUNGE in Philadelphia!