Indianapolis’s ordinance that bans smoking in most places is in place for the time being. I thought it would be interesting to visit a new establishment in Broad Ripple in which patrons may smoke tobacco consistent with the ordinance.
The Village Cigar is located at 6513 North College Avenue, next door to the North Side Social. The bar is small and comfortable. I liked the wicker bar seats—I do not consider them "stools" since they have backs—pulled up to the bar. Joe was behind the bar and offered me a menu. Yes—there are food items on the menu, but cigars dominate the leather-bound volume. I liked the selection. Someone had taken time and thought to put together a variety of cigars to meet the optimum number of tastes. The humidor is not as large as others I have seen, but the place is small. I passed on any of the cigars for sale and pulled out one of my own.
There is a ten-dollar "cutting fee" at The Village Cigar—and, I believe, the other cigar bars in Indianapolis. One noxious aspect of the new ordinance is that to be a "cigar bar," an establishment must derive a certain percentage of its revenues from sales of cigars or cigar-related items. The "cutting fee" is necessary—under an unnecessary and unconstitutional ordinance—for The Village to be compliant with the ordinance. I have visited cigar bars in Denver and Washington, D.C. I did not encounter such fees there. Neither did I encounter another aspect of Indianapolis’s (hopefully temporary) ordnance: cigarettes are forbidden. That makes little sense. I have not heard any cigar patrons complain when a person has lit up a cigarette. The smoke from cigars and cigarettes seems to me to be the same. If anything, a cigar produces more smoke than a cigarete. I believe that aspect of the ordinance is an effort to "divide and conquer."
The atmosphere of the place is laid-back. 1940s music was on the sound system, and a couple of flat-screen TVs showed ESPN. One need not sit at the bar. There also are tables with low, leather chairs. The ventilation system was silent and effective.
Overall, I think The Village Cigar is a damn good locally-owned place to smoke a stogie and relax. There looked to be a very good selection of single-malt whiskeys as well. Joe assured me they have a good wine list.