117 E Main St, Madison
How a smoke friendly cigar bar slips past the authorities in a staunchly smoke free city and a now recently smoke free state remains a mystery. From the dusky decor to the bohemian sounds this is one of the finest establishments i have been privileged set foot in. Embodied in a boxy space the soaring ceiling of darkened tin is given an infinite feel by the climbing wall of bottles behind the bar.
Running the length of the north-east wall, the omnipresent bar is cut with hard lines demanding attention. Behind the kitchy, vintage, tiki-esque lamps illuminating the bar top, taps protrude offering the best of Midwestern lagers and ales. Further back, against the wall, grows an impressive bottle garden running nearly the length of the bar and four or five levels high. The barmen here have so much at their disposal there is absolutely no reason for even the most fickle of drinkers to go thirsty.
If a dryer vice is desired, west of the bar, the humble humidor does its best to display its respectable wares, while cedar strips and over-sized matchboxes accent the bar, making the true cigar aficionado feel right at home.
From the antechamber in the back of the room a DJ frequently rains down fuzzy goodness - ambient sounds, classic hip-hop, dub, downtempo, or whatever might strike him as aurally pleasing to the heightened senses.
Across from the bar large black leather love seats pamper cigared, hairy, bald men or anyone who is able to score one of these prime seats. A few low tables keep court in front of the DJ alter and keep a corner eye on the rest of the scene. Out in front, below the feathered homburg glowing red, a few tables offer respite for someone who needs a little more fresh air than the often open doors and windows of the bar. Maduro a prime example of how to outfit a first-class social firm right down to the Partagas Esplendido.