(L-R) Gregory Hayes, Joe Williams and Larry Pickens, owners of the 2nd Street Cigar Lounge. (Courtesy Photo)

If you are in or traveling through downtown Los Angeles and have not visited the “2nd Street Cigar Lounge” then you are missing out. As a LA Native, I can honestly say that it’s one of the coolest places in the area. Whether you are looking to quietly concentrate in a relaxing and inviting environment or looking for a place to unwind with a cigar, music and/or a game of chess after a long work day, this is the place for you. With a wide variety of fine dining and entertainment opportunities, just a few paces away, this convenient location will become your home away from home! I recently had a chance to sit down with one of the owners, Gregory Hayes, to learn more about this spot!

Ardena Joy Clark (AJ):  What is the 2nd Street Cigar Lounge?

2nd Street Cigar Lounge is known for providing a premier cigar lounge experience! (courtesy photo)

Gregory Hayes (GH): The 2nd Street Cigar Lounge is Downtown Los Angeles’ premier cigar lounge experience! We are retailers of superior handmade cigars made from the finest tobaccos from around the world. Expressly blended and crafted for our customer’s enjoyment. We seek out the most experienced and highly regarded blenders, artisans and manufacturers to deliver the very best cigar smoking experience and pleasure.

AJC: Wow! Could you tell me a bit about how it all started?

GH: In April 2015, 2nd Street Cigar Lounge was purchased by three friends, Larry, Joe and myself, who wanted to own a piece of Downtown Los Angeles. We wanted a place we could call our own and to create an environment where our customers and friends would feel the same.

AJC: I think you’ve succeeded!. There really is a palpable warmth that I feel everytime I come here. It’s like it’s like the building has a personality of its own…

According to the owner, the cigars are made from the finest tobaccos from around the world.

GH: You know, 2nd Street Cigar Lounge is a staple of Downtown Los Angeles with a rich history. The building 2nd Street Cigar Lounge is located in was built in 1896. The cigar lounge started as The La Plata Cigar Company, originally located in downtown Los Angeles and founded in 1947, was at that time a combination of cigar factory, wholesale, and retail cigar store. The La Plata Cigar Company is now 2nd Street Cigar Lounge & Gallery, still located in Downtown Los Angeles, located at 124 W. 2nd Street. We’ve been lucky to have the wonderful Ninoska, who has been greeting customers and working at 2nd Street Street Cigar Lounge for over 20 years.

AJC: I love Ninoska and to hear her talk about the cigar rolling method developed in her home of Nicaragua. Thank you for taking time out to chat with me. I wish you continued success with the lounge and all of your future endeavours.

GH: Thank you Ardena! We look to continue providing an environment where our customers and friends can enjoy the company of great people and enjoy the finest handmade cigars.

We welcome all to join and add to the experience that is 2nd Street Cigar Lounge, Downtown Los Angeles’ premier cigar lounge.

Ardena Joy Clark is an American activist, writer, award winning recording artist, former elected official and author of “The Art of Choosing Joy; A Script in the Making of My Life”.