Back in 2017 when Omar Barham began formulating the idea that would result in Havana Cigar Lounge, located at Fishers District, he immediately knew what type of aesthetic would permeate the establishment – one of luxury and quality.
“I own the Coast to Coast Imports car dealerships, and we do high-end, luxury products,” Barham says. “I also have the Lava hookah lounge in Broad Ripple – so I have what I think of as a luxury brand that I’ve built up, and I started asking myself how I could take that to the next level. The cigar lounge was the answer.”
After starting the initial brainstorming sessions that would result in Havana Cigar Lounge, Barham realized Fishers District was the perfect setting to install his high-end concept.
“The area here is already great, and in a few years it’s really going to take off even more,” Barham says. “After talking to some leaders here in Fishers, I knew it was the perfect spot and that this whole location is great for us.”
Barham says in addition to expanding the luxury brand he’s developed in recent years, the simple demand for a unique cigar lounge concept on the Northside was also a driver behind his decision to open the establishment.
“The leaders here want to bring more restaurants to the area, and there are many of them opening but not like we have,” he says. “I’ve always been a cigar guy, and I own a tobacco manufacturing factory in the Middle East. I wouldn’t want to have done something that doesn’t involve tobacco.”
After a year-long design process, construction on Havana Cigar Lounge began in September of last year, and the result is a premium cigar lounge, a full bar and a full food menu, all in an intimate, refined setting.
“I don’t think there is another full-service cigar lounge like this in Indiana,” General Manager Julio Galvan says. “If you want to come in with your laptop and smoke a cigar, you can. And then we have a dedicated chef, Ricky Martinez, who can come out and talk to the guests. He’s well-versed in a lot of different cuisines.”
Havana Cigar Lounge guests can browse the establishment’s walk-in humidor that houses more than 100 cigar brands, the majority being rare and high-end selections carefully chosen by Barham and his staff. Galvan says the facility features a state-of-the-art ventilation system.
“Our number-one product is service,” says Rob Coombes, director of operations. “From there, we offer exceptional cigars, and a full bar selection from beer to rare cognacs and bourbons. Beyond that, what I think is going to set us apart in Indiana, if not the nation, is going to be our kitchen. It’s a lounge with a full menu. Our Executive Chef Ricky Martinez has put together a phenomenal menu to match our rare and exotic lounge.”
The menu ranges from a Cuban sandwich with Martinez’s own twist, to duck confit and Spanish octopus. Lunch options include beef skewers, ropa vieja, hummus and guacamole and dinner items include marinated skirt steak, herb-crusted lamb chops and bone-in short rib. Patrons can choose from sides like yucca fries, fried plantains, Cuban beans and more.
The drink menu will include a few local selections like Sun King Osiris Pale Ale and St. Elmo Steak House’s in-house bourbon.
“We want to be sure we recognize what’s around us and support other local businesses,” Galvan says. “I also want to be known for rums, and we have a lot of special releases and up to 30-year-old rums. A lot of places are heavy into the bourbons, the ryes and the scotches, and we want to find a niche with rums.”
Coombes says the staff will offer both cigar and drink pairing suggestions for the food menu.
“Different types of cigars do different things, and types of tobacco can be rolled in a cigar that pair with food and stimulate appetite,” he says.
Galvan adds that the local response to his new establishment has been largely positive.
“People were peeking around at the place for a long time back when we started building, interested in what was going on and asking us about it,” he says. “When the signs came up, local people really got excited about having a place like this close to where they live. There’s nothing of this caliber around us — you’d have to go downtown, at least 10 or 12 miles away. There’s a lot of excitement, and we share it.”
Havana Cigar Lounge is located at 9707 District North Drive, Suite 1110 in Fishers. For more information, call 317-900-7168 and visit havanacigarlounge.vip.