Written by Staff

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

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bogies fine cigars and smokehousespecial events

Smokers have been booted out of every public place in Illinois, but a Homewood shop is welcoming them to come in and light up -- provided their smoke of choice is a cigar.

Bogie's Fine Cigars & Smokehouse opened quietly at the end of last year and falls under one of the exemptions to the statewide ban on smoking in public places. The retail store and cigar lounge, 17816 Halsted St., will celebrate its grand opening from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The retail side of the store opened in late December, followed by the cigar lounge, said Lance DeVries, one of the owners of the business. The business features a state-of-the-art humidor, Wi-Fi access, high-definition plasma TVs and personal cigar lockers.

This week the lounge will begin serving beverages including coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks, DeVries said.

Cigar consultant Andrea Vasquez works in the humidor at Bogie's Cigar Shop in Homewood.

"We have become the only oasis for cigar smokers where they can go, outside of their own home, to smoke," he said.

There is another Southland cigar lounge, Belicoso, in Orland Park, but DeVries said he and his three partners realized there was nothing in or around the Homewood area. One of the other investors lives in Homewood, but DeVries declined to identify him.

DeVries is vice president of sales for Pave Man Inc., a paving contractor in Lisle, but he's also a cigar aficionado. He said the aim of he and his partners wasn't to cater to cigar snobs but to smokers who appreciate a fine cigar.

"We don't have the most expensive cigars, but we stock the best, highest-rated cigars available," he said, adding that prices start at $2.50 and go up to $30.

The partners were looking for a classy image and settled on Humphrey Bogart. The shop's logo is a silhouette of him wearing a tux with smoke wafting from his mouth. While most associate Bogart with cigarettes, he did puff on cigars in films such as "The African Queen" and "The Maltese Falcon."

DeVries believes cigars have been unfairly linked with cigarettes in the quest to ban smoking in public places.

"Cigars and cigarettes are so different," he said. "Cigars are more of a social event, such as celebrating births and golf outings, while cigarettes are more of an addiction."

Store manager Mike Vargas lights up a cigar with help from consultant Andrea Vasquez at Bogie's Cigar Shop in Homewood.

Bogie's Fine Cigars & Smokehouse
17816 S. Halsted
Homewood, IL 60430

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